Ryohei Uchida  founded the Kokuryu-kai, or Amur River Society in 1901. The Japanese characters for Kokuryu-kai had a double meaning and was taken to be "Black Dragon." The exotic version of the name caught on with Western
journalists. Uchida was a follower of Mitsuru Toyama, founder of the Genyosha (Dark Ocean Society). Toyama
remained an advisor to Uchida and the Black Dragons until his death in 1944. Uchida's Black Dragons took over the roles and traditions set by Genyosha. From its founding, until 1945, Black Dragon provided the Japanese Army and government with espionage
and subversion services  worldwide, but most especially in China. Uchida was succeeded  by Kuzuo Yoshihisa in 1937. Uchida was also President  of The Japan
Production Party. Genyosha, or Dark Ocean Society was also known as Black Ocean Society in some translations.