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Shibusawa Eiichi, the father of Japanese companies

Shibusawa Eiichi, the father of Japanese companies (Picture 1)

Shibusawa Eiichi (1840 - 1931), a big industrialist in the Meiji and Taisho period in Japan. He has the title of “Father of Japanese Enterprises”, “King of Japan's Finance”, “Leader of Japan's Modern Economy”, “Father of Japanese Capitalism”, and “Father of Japan's Modern Industry”. Shibusawa Eiichi has also become the first business philosophy of the Analects of Confucius. His book "The Analects and Abacus" sums up his own successful experience, which is to talk about the techniques of making money and the way of Confucian loyalty. He believes that his job is to improve the morality of businessmen through the "The Analects of Confucius", so that businessmen can clearly understand the truth of "getting it right."

Shibusawa Eiichi repaired Sinology and swords from an early age, but the Meiji Restoration changed his destiny. In 1867, he attended the World Exposition in Paris, France as a member of the Japanese Ambassadors, and later traveled in Europe for nearly two years. At that time, he was deeply impressed by the industrial development and economic system in Europe, which laid the foundation for his future activities. After returning to China, he was employed by the Meiji New Government in the province of Tibet and was promoted to the Minister of Finance. He directly participated in the brewing and formulation of almost all major policies such as the reform of the monetary system of the new government, the demolition of counties, and the issuance of public debt. A long trip to Europe (January 1867 - November 1868) had a major impact on Shibusawa Eiichi. Europe in the 1860s was the era of capitalist industrialization, and France's World Expo naturally became a big showcase for the prosperity of the Western economy. Shown here is the world's most advanced industrial products at that time, from steam locomotives, industrial lathes, textile machines to teaching medical equipment, all of which make Takizawa feel extremely novel and wide open.

Shibusawa Eiichi was born in the Hao Nong family in Saitama Prefecture. In the early years, he participated in the Zunwang Yiyi movement. Because of his savvy ability, he was re-used by Tokugawa Kei. In 1867, he went to Europe with the shogun general Tokugawa Keiji. When he returned to China, the Tokugawa shogunate had already fallen. In 1868, Shibusawa Eiichi founded Japan's first bank and trading company. In 1869, he worked in the province of Tibet and actively participated in monetary and tax reforms. In 1873, due to political dissatisfaction, he resigned as the president of Japan’s First National Bank and founded Osaka Textile Company 10 years later to establish his dominance in Japan. After that, his capital infiltrated into railways, ships, fisheries, printing, steel and gas. Important economic sectors such as electricity, oil refining and mining, committed to social welfare after retirement in 1916, and died at the age of 91.

Shibusawa Eiichi has performed exceptionally well in his life, and he has participated in more than 500 companies, including the Tokyo Stock Exchange. These companies are located in the most important industrial sectors of Japan at the time, including banking, insurance, mining, railways, machinery, printing, textiles, brewing, and chemicals. Many of them are still listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. More importantly, he was keen on the introduction of Western economic systems and the innovation of corporate forms. He founded Japan's first modern bank and joint-stock enterprise (First National Bank), and took the lead in launching and creating modern economic organizations. In terms of industrial thinking, he combined the Confucian spirit from China with the economic ethics that emulated Europe and the United States, and laid the foundation for Japanese business ideas.

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