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Hara Takashi

(1856-1921). Influential politician of the early 20th century, recognized as one of the principal architects of party government in Japan. Also known as Hara Kei or Hara Satoshi. He served as home minister (1906-08, 1911-12, 1913-14) and prime minister (1918-21). As the first Japanese prime minister who was neither a member of the peerage nor of the domainal cliques that had dominated the government of the Meiji period (1868-1912), Hara is frequently known as the "commoner" prime minister. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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