Some sources confuse him for his younger brother, Narahara Shigeru aka Narahara Kôgorô, another prominent Satsuma retainer.
Life and Career
A prominent agent of the Shimazu clan daimyô, Kizaemon was sent to Edo in 1858 to aid in efforts to have Tokugawa Yoshinobu named shogunal successor. Ultimately, however, the faction backing Tokugawa Yoshitomi and led by Ii Naosuke won out. Kizaemon returned to Satsuma, and the following year joined a sonnô jôi faction known as the Seichû-gumi.
In 1862, he helped organize the disruption of Arima Shinshichi's efforts to raise an army. That same year, Kizaemon served as a member of Shimazu Hisamitsu's retinue as the former daimyô escorted Imperial envoys to Edo. On 1862/8/21, as the procession traveled on the Tôkaidô on its way back from Edo, in the village of Namamugi it encountered a party of Englishmen on horseback. In what has come to be known as the Namamugi Incident, Kizaemon cut down one of the English merchants. Two others were wounded, while only one escaped relatively unharmed.
After British demands for reparations, a formal apology, and the punishment of those responsible were rebuffed by Satsuma authorities, a number of ships of the Royal Navy bombarded Kagoshima in 1863/7. Narahara, along with Kaieda Nobuyoshi, another Satsuma samurai alleged to have been involved in the Namamugi Incident, attempted unsuccessfully to seize one of the British ships.
- "Narahara Kizaemon." Nihon jinmei dai jiten 日本人名大辞典. Kodansha. Accessed via Japan Knowledge online resource, 28 May 2010.
- "Narahara Kizaemon." Asahi Nihon Rekishi Jinbutsu Jiten 朝日日本歴史人物事典. Accessed via Kotobank.jp, 28 May 2010.