This is the top of this page Move to photograph Move to biography Move to Association with Minato City Move to Walking Points Move to Literary Works Move to Related Publications Move to the last Menu

Provided by the Japanese Red Cross Society
Tsunetami Sano関連写真
Provided by the Japanese Red Cross Society

Tsunetami Sano

  • Biography
1822-1902. Samurai and politician. Sano was born into the family of the Saga clan of samurai, but was adopted by the clan’s physician, Tsunemi Sano. He studied medicine, Western studies, and chemistry, and in 1863 manufactured Japan’s first steamship as a navy investigator. After touring Europe, he devoted his efforts to establishing the navy under the new government and received appointments as Minister of Finance, President of the Senate, Privy Councilor, and Minister of Agriculture and Commerce. Hakuaisha, which was established during the Seinan War, changed its name later to the Japanese Red Cross Society, and Sano was appointed its first president and given the title of Earl.

  • Association with Minato City
Accomplished the establishment of an aid organization based on humanity and philanthropy

Hakuaisha was born from the Seinan War, which broke out in February 1877. Sano, who had learned about the many fatalities and casualties in this war, with his fellow official of the Senate, Yuzuru Ogyu, requested the government to establish the aid organization Hakuaisha, following the example of the Red Cross in Europe. However, his idea of “saving the enemies without prejudice” was not accepted. As such, he made an appeal directly to Prince Arisugawa, the Imperial Prince Taruhito, who was the commander of the government military. His request was accepted, and the aid activities began.

Hakuaisha,was renamed the Japanese Red Cross Society in 1887 and later became a member of the international Red Cross. Its offices and hospital were initially in Iida-cho, Kojimachi Ward. The office was moved in 1912 to Shibakoen, Shiba Ward (now Shibadaimon), and the hospital was moved in the mid-Meiji era to the Imperial estate in Shibuya Village, Toyotama County, Tokyo Prefecture (now 4-chome, Hiroo, Shibuya Ward). The office became the Japanese Red Cross Society headquarters, and the hospital became the Japanese Red Cross Society Medical Center.

Nihon Jinmei Daijiten (Japanese Biographical Dictionary) (Kodansha)
Kindai Nihon no Senkusha (Pioneers of Modern Japan) (Nichigai Associates)
Nisseki no Soshisha: Tsunetami Sano

  • Walking Points
Red Cross Information Center (Japanese Red Cross Society Headquarters, 1-1-3 Shibadaimon)
Tomb of Tsunetami Sano (Aoyama Reien, 2-chome Minamiaoyama)

  • Related Publications
Sano Tsunetamiden - Kaigun no Senkaku Nihon Sekijujisha no chichi (Biography of Tsunetami Sano: The Naval Pioneer and Father of the Japanese Red Cross Society) (Honma Rakukan / Jidaisha)
Nisseki no soshisha; Sano Tsunetami (Founder of the Japan Red Cross Society: Tsunetami Sano) (Ryuko Yoshikawa / Yoshikawa Kobunkan)
Hijo - Bakumatsu Kaiten no Kisai: Sano Tsunetami (The Wizard at the End of Edo: Tsunetami Sano) (Katsuhiko Takahashi / PHP Bunko)
Search for Related Publications