It is believed that as the eldest son of a village headman, Tengai’s consciousness as a person of a locality perhaps grew stronger during his studies in Tokyo. When he returned to his hometown at the age of twenty-two, he immediately began activities for its development.
He actively participated in such undertakings as the advancement of agriculture and the promotion of river improvement, assumed various posts and at the age of twenty-seven he was elected as a member of the assembe, from his character he gained the confidence of people and began numerous enterprises. His mejor undertakings included the Iyo railway and the Ehime news company.
His rising-dragon-like life did not continue long. In September 1893, the Emperor Meiji was to visit Hiroshima, and Tengai set out to welcome the Emperor as the prefecture’s representative.
When he looked at the scenery, the morning after a night in Hiroshima, Tengai found that his left eye was clouded and he could not see clearly. He quickly returned to Matsuyama for an examination. He was found to have a hemorrhage of the funds and was told that he might go blind in both eyes.
Tengai quickly went to Tokyo with his wife for an examination by Dr. Kawamoto of Tokyo University Hospital, who was said to be an authority on ophthalmology.