He sympathized with Saigo Takamori’s call for an expedition against Korea and, in 1876, after the government had rejected Saigo’s policies, took part in antigovemment activities in Fukuoka carried out by discontented members of the former samurai class. As a result, he was put in prison. After the so-called Seinan War, Saigo’s unsuccessful attempt to defy the government, he was released from prison and took part in the popular rights movement. In 1879 he joined Hakoda Rokusuke and Hiraoka Kotaro in forming a political organization called the Koyosha, which supported the movement to set up a national assembly. In 1881 the Koyosha was renamed the Gen’yosha and, with Hiraoka Kotaro as president, called upon Japan to play a greater role in Asian affairs and advocated Japanese expansion on the continent.
After the establishment of the Diet, Toyama and his associates cooperated with the government and assisted in the government interference in the second general election in 1892. He lent his support to Uchida Ryohei and others in 1901 in their founding of a nationalistic organization called the Kokuryukai (the Black Dragon or Amur River Society), and also participated in the Tai-Ro Doshikai, an organization calling for a firmer foreign policy towards Russia.