An able mathematician, he graduated from the Civil Engineering Section, Tokyo University in 1878.
After the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) he invested in the Chikuho Railway Company in Kyushu and became its president. Absorbing other Kyushu railways, he organized the Kyushu Railway Company in 1897. This meant the unification of all overland transportation systems in the interests of the Mitsubishi zaibatsu.
When the first Saionji Cabinet attempted to nationalize railways in the face of fierce opposition (1907), he was elected a member of the House of Representatives and organized the Boshin Club which worked for the government purchase of private railways. He became a leader of the Kenseikai Party and helped its president, Takaaki Kato.
He was appointed president of the Railway Board upon the organization of the Okuma Cabinet (1914). He was Railway Minister in the coalition cabinet of three parties organized in 1924.
He was nominated a member of the House of Peers and president of the South Manchuria Railway Company.
He was a leader of the Kenseikai Party.