Taguchi Ukichi

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Taguchi Ukichi was a Meiji period politician, businessman, journalist, and advocate for free trade, known perhaps in particular for his role in campaigns to stir up popular interest and investment in Japanese involvement in Micronesia.

By the age of thirty, Taguchi was already deputy chairman of the Tokyo City Assembly, and already established as a journalist, businessman, magazine editor, and outspoken free trade supporter besides. A few years later, in 1889 (around the age of 34), he joined one of the first formal trade expeditions to Micronesia, sailing to Yap, Pohnpei, and Palau. The expedition met many difficulties, and in the end was not particularly financially successful; however, Taguchi's writings about Micronesia, many of them published in over sixty articles in the Tokyo Keizai Zasshi ("Tokyo Economics Magazine"), formed the core of the earliest major campaign to inspire interest in Micronesia among Japanese.

By 1900, he had become a member of the National Diet, and quite successful as a journalist. His interests by this time shifted away from Micronesia to concerns on the continent, but other writers replaced him in being prominent influences writing about the tropical South Seas and encouraging Japanese interest and involvement there.


  • Mark Peattie, "The Nan'yô: Japan in the South Pacific, 1885-1945," in Peattie and Ramon Myers (eds.), The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895-1945, Princeton University Press (1984), 177-178.