Okubo Shokesa was born on 26 September 1830, the son of Okubo Juemon Toshiyo and Minayoshi Fuku. His adult name was Toshimichi. He served under the Shimazu at Satsuma Province. He played a role in overthrowing the shogunate, replacing it with a new government system.
He married Hayasaki Masako in 1858 and had several children, including four with a mistress.
One year after putting down the Satsuma Rebellion led by Saigo Takamori, on 14 May 1878, Toshimichi was assassinated by Shimada Ichiro and other Kanazawa samurai. The assassins in turn were executed by the Meiji government. He was the last of the three nobles to die.
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