Mitsubishi Companies is a community of multitude of independent companies. Almost all the names of the company have elements of Mitsubishi name, but some of them don’t have it. The total number of Mitsubishi group members currently are about 400 companies which have various fields around the world. These companies have their own management, so there is a possibility in some areas about business competition among members. However, these companies share the same principles, spirit and corporate philosophy from the three principles made by Koyata Iwasaki, the 4th president of Mitsubishi.
Mitsubishi founded by Yataro Iwasaki in 1870, it was a company that developed by Iwasaki family. His brother, son, and nephew helped to spread Mitsubishi’s business to the various fields. In the beginning, Mitsubishi was only a company in shipbuilding services with the assets of three steamers. But this time, Mitsubishi companies have become a group of large corporations consisting of more than 400-member companies.
The existence of Mitsubishi could not be separated from the history and development of the modern history of Japan, especially since the end of the Tokugawa Government. In other words, Mitsubishi has passed through 139 years of the establishment until this day. In the history, after World War II, Mitsubishi organization was closed by alliance forces that occupied Japan because it is related to aggressive of Japan military government.
Yataro Iwasaki is a hard-worker and entrepreneur who founded Mitsubishi. He was from Kochi Prefecture in Shikoku which is the base of Tosa clan. Yataro worked for the clan in Nagasaki area. However, after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the city of Osaka replaced Nagasaki as the main trading port. In addition, the new Japanese government prohibited clan members to run the business. Therefore, Yataro took over Tosa clan business office in Osaka. During the run of his business, Yataro is trusted to work on many jobs and projects from the new Japanese government.
From the chance he got, he could develop his business by purchasing more vessels and getting massive government routine subsidies. The works include providing vessels to bring Japanese soldiers to Taiwan, as well as transporting supplies and equipment needed by the government. Since then, Mitsubishi has grown rapidly. With the support from the government, Yataro gradually diversified the business, such as investment in mining, ship reparation, documentary financing, and shipbuilding industry in Nagasaki (Nagasaki shipyard).
Japan in the 1880s, there was a change of political situation which the power of the government that supported Mitsubishi became weak. It was certainly affected this company. Moreover, in the same year, there was the establishment of a company that had similar fields. It became the difficult competitor for Mitsubishi. The existence of this company almost made both companies bankrupt. To overcome this, there was an issue about both companies emerged. However, eight months before the merger took place, Yataro passed away because of stomach cancer in 1885. After the death of Yataro, Yanosuke Iwasaki, who is the younger brother of Yataro, replaced his brother’s position as president of Mitsubishi.
After the death, Yanosuke, son of Yataro Iwasaki, Hisaya Iwasaki, replaced his uncle as the third president of Mitsubishi in 1893. Hisaya was graduated from other countries, specifically from the University of Pennsylvania. He had the role as a re-designer of the Mitsubishi organization and continued the business that has been run by his father and uncle to support Mitsubishi’s growing business operations.
In 1916, his position as president of Mitsubishi was replaced by Koyata Iwasaki, son of Yanosuke Iwasaki. After that, Hisaya concentrated on his personal business in agriculture and cattle projects spread across Korea, Taiwan, Sumatra, Malay, Brazil and other countries. In the end, Hisaya lost almost all of his personal wealth due to the financial collapse of zaibatsu and industry in Japan after World War II. He spent his life at Suehiro Farm until his death in 1955. In 1954, more than 100 companies belonged to the Mitsubishi’s corporation.
The major corporate components of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries rejoined in 1964. The success of Japan in rebuilding economies after World War II in the 1950-1960s was the role of existing giant corporations, including Mitsubishi. Until now, Mitsubishi corporations still exist in increasing of the Japanese economy.
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