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Thomas Blake Glover


1838 - 1911

Merchant and reformer in Japan. Born in Fraserburgh, the son of a coastguard, Glover moved with his family to Bridge of Don (Aberdeen City) in 1851. He went first to Shanghai in China and then to Nagasaki as agent of the Jardine Matheson trading company. He was awarded the highest "Order of the Rising Sun" for his contribution to modernising Japan, through industrialisation and smuggling Japanese students abroad to gain a better education.

He became one of the founders of what is now the Mitsubishi Corporation and his wife may have provided the model for Puccini's 1904 Opera "Madame Butterfly".

He died in Tokyo and his name is remembered in Glover House and Glover Garden, both preserved in Nagasaki. A memorial plaque was placed at his former family home, now a museum, in Bridge of Don in 2006.


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