Kabayama Sukenori was a prominent statesman of the early Meiji period, holding numerous ministerial positions, and serving as the first governor-general of Taiwan. Previously, he had been a samurai retainer to the Shimazu clan of Satsuma han, and fought in several of the key conflicts of the 1860s-1870s.
Kabayama fought in the Boshin War, and following the abolition of the samurai class and of the bakuhan system, he became commander of the second Kyushu outpost garrison, leading the defense of Kumamoto castle against the forces of the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877. Kabayama also played a significant role in pressuring the national government to send a punitive expedition to Taiwan following the Taiwan Incident of 1871.
After a period as Superintendant General, followed by posts as Minister of the Navy and Minister of the Army, Kabayama was named Governor-General of Taiwan in 1895 and arrived on the island as the head of a squadron on July 6 of that year. He later served as Minister of the Interior and Minister of Education before his death in 1922.
- Suzuki Eka, "Building Statues of Japanese Governors: Monumental Bronze Sculptures and Colonial Cooperation in Taiwan under Japanese Rule," presentation at 2013 UCSB International Conference on Taiwan Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara, 7 Dec 2013.
- Uemura Hideaki. "The Colonial Annexation of Okinawa and the Logic of International Law: The Formation of an 'Indigenous People' in East Asia." Japanese Studies 23:2 (2003). p109.
- Plaque at historical marker in Kagoshima.