This is the fourth in a 10-part series on influential figures in the Heisei Era, which began in 1989 and will end when Emperor Akihito abdicates in April. During Heisei, Japan was roiled by economic excess and stagnation, as well as a struggle for political and social reform. This series explores those who left their imprint along the way.

Reformer, kingmaker, shadow shogun, destroyer.

With so many labels, no politician stands out like Ichiro Ozawa among Japan's conformist legislators.