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Cao Cao (曹操)Japanese name: Sou Sou. Chinese name: Cao Cao. Cao Cao was a warlord and the penultimate Chancellor of the Eastern Han Dynasty who rose to great power during its final years in ancient China. As one of the central figures of the Three Kingdoms period, he laid the foundations for what was to become Cao Wei and was posthumously titled Emperor Wu of Wei. Although often portrayed as a cruel and merciless tyrant, Cao Cao has also been praised as a brilliant ruler and military genius who treated his officers like his family. He was also skilled in poetry and the martial arts, and wrote many war journals.