Interested in Western civilization, he personally boarded a Dutch ship for inspection and learned the Dutch language. Met Franz Siebolt, a German physician, and Nobuhiro Sato to learn about conditions in the West. Established the Zoshikan school in his clan and opened a medical school.
He had his daughter adopted by the Konoe family in Kyoto and she married Shogun lenari Tokugawa. As father-in-law of the Shogun, he became powerful and lived in extreme luxury, which resulted in his clan becoming debt-ridden.