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Ito Hirobumi
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World Leader
    (October 16, 1841-October 26, 1909)
    Born in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan
    Birth name was Hayashi Risuke
    Four-time Prime Minister of Japan (1885-88,1892-96,1898,1900-01)
    Named a marquess (1884) and a prince (1908)
    Resident-General of the Japanese Protectorate of Korea (1905-09)
    Assassinated by a Korean nationalist
    He created Japan’s taxation system (1871).
    He was one of the architects of Japanese imperialism.
    His womanizing was often lampooned by editorial cartoonists.
    He liked to boast, ‘Drunk, I relax with my head on a beauty’s lap. Refreshed, I grasp the reins of power.’
    He was one of the ‘Choshu Five’ secretly sent to study in the West after Commodore Perry ended Japan’s isolation.
    He was the principal author of the Meiji Constitution (1889).
    He renegotiated several treaties, convincing European powers to treat Japan as an equal.
    He is considered one of the fathers of modern Japan.
    He said of his killer, 'He is a fool,' which proved prescient as Japan used the assassination as an excuse to officially annex Korea.

Credit: C. Fishel


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