A samurai and Rangaku scholar, he studied English in Nagasaki for a time in the 1860s, before sneaking out of the country and journeying to England. He returned to Japan in 1868, and published an account entitled Seiyô kenbunroku ("A Record of Personal Observations about the West"), revealing his zeal for "civilization and enlightenment" as understood or defined through the British Victorian lens.
After a brief period serving as an official in the Ministry of Public Works, and the Home Ministry, he left government service, and devoted himself to the establishment of a new publication - the Marumaru chinbun. The publication balanced pro- and anti-Western content, but was somewhat the voice of opposition in terms of domestic political stance; Nomura's statement that "the interests of the government and the people are completely different" indicates something of the political slant of the publication.
- Peter Duus, "The Marumaru Chinbun and the Origins of the Japanese Political Cartoon," International Journal of Comic Art 1 (1999), 45-46.
- Duus, 49.