Yamagata, Aritomo (1838 - 1922) Military officer and statesman. Born in Yamaguchi as the son of a samurai of the Hagi Clan. In 1898, he formed his second cabinet. During the Japanese-Russo War, he commanded operations as chief of the General Staff. As genro (elder statesman), he effectively gathered government officials and military men, into what was called the "Yamagata-batsu (clique)," and exerted major influence on the political establishment.