Japan Society E-Library

Businessmen and business figures

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Madeley, Christopher

Taking Albert Penniall's diary from his two years in Japan this portrait sheds light on what it was like to work for a Japanese firm in the 1920s and provides a picture of expatriate life in Japan at the time.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Checkland, Olive, and Norio, Tamaki

Alexander Allan Shand (1844-1930) taught Japanese bankers the elements of Western banking, auditing and accounting, and later smoothed the way for the Japanese government to borrow on the London money market.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Ariyoshi Yoshiya (1901-82) was known as 'the grand old man of Japanese shipping'. This portrait focuses on his character and his love of both Britain and Japanese cultural traditions.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Conte-Helm, Marie

This portrait considers the history of Britain's shipbuilding links with Japan through the firms Armstrong's and Vickers.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Lockyer, Angus

Arthur Groom (1846-1918) is widely consdiered the father of Japanese golf, and this portrait examines his arguably accidental part in the development of modern Japan during the Meiji period.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Thorne, Ben

Ben Thorne was closely involved in efforts to persuade British exporters to look at opportunities in Japan, organised the 1969 British Week in Tokyo, and then formed the Tokyo Export Marketing Centre in 1973. Here he reflects on UK-Japan Commercial relations from 1968 to '79.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Dimond, Paul

This portrait is of the generations of individuals who built the structure for promoting British business in Japan in the early 1970s.

Book: Britain and Japan 1859-1991: Themes and Personalities
Author: Hunter, Janet

This chapter covers the development of technological education in early Meiji Japan, including a profile of the career of Kikuchi Kyōzō (1859-1942).

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Huberman, Toni

This essay offer an account of Charles Holme's (1848-1923) career as an art collecter and connoisseur of Japanese art, as well as his founding of The Studio - the first international arts magazine.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Clegg, Nick

This essay offers an account and analysis of the career of one of the most charismatic and forwardthinking leaders in the Japanese Securities Industry, Chino Yoshitoki's (1923-2004), along with his work with the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Buckley, Roger

The British connection was critical to the development of Western-style horse racing in Japan from the 1860s onwards; what began as little more than an amateurish diversion for the expatriate communities of the treaty ports has evolved into a vast multi-billion Yen enterprise. 

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Giffard, Sydney

Having completed his time as a language student, future Ambassador Sydney Giffard was sent to the Kansai to gain experience as a Vice-Consul. Here he describes life in Kansai in the 1950s, putting it in the context of progressive centralization in Tokyo.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Edward Heath (1916-2005) was the first British Prime Minister to make an official visit to Japan. This essay details Heath's 1972 visit and its aftermath.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Itoh Keiko

Eikichi and Rosa Itoh carved out a niche in Anglo-Japanese relations that spanned the twentieth century. This portrait details their career and dealings with Britain.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Hoare, James Edward

Ernest Cyril Comfort played a significant role in the post First World War Civil Aviation Mission to Japan. This essay provides an account of the mission and Comfort's role in aiding Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Naish, John; Christopher Purvis; Edmund de Rothschild; and Hugh Trenchard

Key figures from the British merchant banking community in Japan reflect on the experience of doing business there, and on the changing market from the 1950s to '80s.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Baker, Kenneth; Denis Healey; Julian Ridsdale; and Patrick Jenkin

Although few British politicians have had more than a cursory knowledge of Japan, large numbers of MPs have visited the country, and some have managed to achieve more than a passing acquaintance with it. The British Japan Parliamentary Group and the UK-Japan 2000 Group (later UK-Japan 21st Century Group) have been the driving force behind this. Here key figures from these organisations describe their dealings with Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IV
Author: Davies, Peter N.

This essay charts the establishment, growth and successes in Japan of Cornes and Company through its founder, Frederick Cornes (1837-1927).

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Chakmakjian, Pauline

This essay considers the history of freemasonry in Japan - its introduction and issues of compatibility with Japanese religious beliefs.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Tamaki Norio

A writer, journalist and businessman, Fukuzawa Yukichi (1835-1901) made a significant contribution to Meiji Japan, and a personal fortune in the process.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

This essay provides an account of Honda Sōichirō's (1906-1991) life, personality, and business relationship with Britain.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Green, Edwin

This essay details the way in which HSBC was a pioneer and prototype of banking and international finance in nineteenth-century Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Yamamoto Yumiyo

Inoue Masaru (1843-1910) was one of the Choshu five - ambitious young men sent to England to study in 1863. This essay details the significant contribution of Inoue Masaru to the construction of Japanese railways, and the influence of his time and study in Britain on his civic career.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: James, Prue

This essay details Isaac Bunting's (1850-1936) trade in lily bulbs in Japan, the growth and decline of the business, and the work and character of Bunting himself.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Figgess, John

Diplomat John Figgess was among the first of the British contingent to arrive in Tokyo in 1945 and in this chapter he describes his arrival and his work in Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Hotta-Lister, Ayako

This portrait assesses the success of the Japan-British Exhibition of 1910 from the perspective of the Japanese organizers.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Oba, Sadao

This essay gives an overview to some of the prominent businessmen who spent significant parts of their careers in Britain.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IV
Author: Bleasdale, Charlotte

This essay charts the Japan career of John Samuel Swire (1825-98) ('the Father of Shipping Conferences') and the establishment, growth and success in Japan of the trading and shipping company Butterfield & Swire.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Baker, John R., and Biggs, Frances K.

The essay details the career of Botanist Kathleen Mary Drew Baker (1901-57), and how her studies helped to save the Japanese Nori industry.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Albery, Nobuko

This portrait provides an insight into the role of writer, director and impressario Kazuo Kikuta (1908-1973) in the Japanese commercial theatre industry, to which he introduced numerous West End and Broadway shows.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Maclean, Nicolas

This essay provides an account of sociologist Keith Thurley's (1931-92) lifelong commitment to industrial cooperation between Europe and Asia, and to the study of contemporary Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IV
Author: Ashmore, Sonia

Lasenby Liberty (1843-1917) presided over his company at a time when Japanese luxury goods were hugely popular in Britain. This essay considers Liberty in relation to japonsime, as well as his visits to Japan to oversee business.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Gordon, Martin

Across Lord Eric Roll's (1907-2005) work as economist, investment banker and civil servant lie dealings with Japan. This essay provides an account and analysis of those dealings.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Hanaoka Sosuke

A Japanese account of the Anglo-Japanese Commercial Treaty.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Baker-Bates, Merrick

Merrick Baker-Bates was first a diplomatic service language student in Japan before becoming Commercial Counsellor. Having transferred to commerce for four years he subsequently returned to the diplomatic service as Consul General in LA. Here he describes his various lives in Japan, with particular reference to his time as a language student, the shift in emphasis in the 1960s to promoting British exports, and to his time as General Manager of Cornes and Company.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Perry, Mike

Mike Perry headed Unilever's joint venture in Japan from 1981 to '83 and went on to lead various British campaigns to export to Japan. Here he describes his experiences in Japan in the early 1980s.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Oba Sadao

Mitsui & Co. Ltd was given the responsibility of managing the collection and export of rice to China and Europe. This essay details its growth and success in the City of London.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Morita Akio (1921-99) was one of the main driving forces behind the Sony Corporation. This essay details his career, personality, and business philosophy, as well as his relationship with Britain.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Madeley, Christopher

Nissan has a long history of formal and informal relations with Britain, and this essay provides a history of these relations as well as their nature and establishment.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Mountfield, Robin

This essay details the negotiations, subsequent investments, and business relationship between Nissan and Britain from 1980-84.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IV
Author: Baker-Bates, Merrick

This portrait considers Peter Hewett's (1920-82) major contribution to the post-war growth inAnglo-Japanese trade.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Parker, Peter

The importance of attracting capital investment to Britain was increasingly recognised by British governments from the 1970s onwards. Businessman Peter Parker became closely involved with Japanese investment in Britain. Here he recounts his later experiences with Japan and considers the future.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Parker, Peter

Peter Parker reached Japan in October 1945 as a British officer. In this chapter he describes his experiences both of Japan and the American Occupation.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Hand, Peter

Banker Peter Hand reflects on the changed circumstances for British banks in Japan from the post war period to the 1980s.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Large, Dick; Graham McCallum; Martyn Naylor; Ann Wilkinson; and David Wilkinson

One of the key service sectors for Britain in Japan was the airline industry, and until the late 1980s the main British company involved was British Airways. Here David Wilkinson, BA's manager in Japan from 1978 to '87 gives an account of his experience there, along with his wife, Ann Wilkinson's reflections. Following this, Martin Naylor recalls the important role played by the Japan British Society in the 1960s and '70s. During a forty-year career in Japan, Dick Large worked for John Swire & Sons (during which time he precided over Swire Japan's international shipping operations), Cathay Pacific and BA. Here he reflects on this period.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Fraser, Duncan, and Lew Radbourne

Having first gone to Japan with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force, Lew Radbourne returned in 1949 as a junior expatriate with Dodwell and Company. Duncan Fraser first worked in Japan with Jardin Matheson and Company Limited and ended his service there as Direct of Royals Royce (Far East). Here both recall the early years of working and trading in Japan

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Jack, Stuart

This essay charts the way in which discriminatory taxes on Scotch Whisky were tackled and overcome during the 1980s.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Tokumoto Eiichiro

This portrait charts the life and influence of the complicated and enigmatic Shirasu Jirō (1902-1985), described here as 'a symbol of his time' having lived through some of the best and worst episodes of Anglo-Japanese relations. During his life, he was a student at Cambridge, journalist, businessman, farmer and a crucial link between the Japanese government and the office of the Supreme Commander Allied Powers.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

This essay provides an account of the life and career of Sir John Figgess (1909-97), businessman, intelligence officer, diplomat and art expert.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Businessman Sir Peter Parker (1924-2002) made an outstanding contribution to Anglo-Japanese relations in the final decades of the twentieth century. This essay offers an account and analysis of his career and impact in relation to Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Neal, Edna Read

This portrait examines the six year internment of businessman Takayuki Eguchi in Pentonville prison during the Second World War.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IV
Author: O'Connor, Peter

This essay considers three editors of the Japan Chronicle, among them two of the most perceptive writers on Japan anywhere, covering the period from 1891 to 1940.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Mutsu, Ian

This portrait sketches a history of the Mutsu family, and in particular considers their close ties to Britain and the effect this had on Anglo-Japanese relations.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Kato Setsuo

One of the oldest Japanese institutions in London, the Nippon club traces it origins back to 1881 when groups of Japanese gathered monthly in the Strand. This portrait details its establishment and development.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Takeno Hiroyuki

This essay considers two important managers of the Nippon Yūsen Kaisha, and how they devoted their lives to developing Japanese nautical facilities and education for the merchant marine and navy.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Itoh Keiko

The history of the Yokohama Specie Bank in London provides a useful window into Japan's pre-war efforts to establish herself as a first-rate modernized empire. This essay considers how the bank reflects Japan's bold strides into the financial centre of the world, London.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Thomas Wright Blakiston (1832-91), explorer, engineer and ornithologist, is best known for his discovery of 'Blackiston's Line' a zoogeographical boundary along the Tsugaru Strait.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Toyoda Shōichirō

Toyoda Shōichirō offers his memoir of the Toyota Motor Company's establishment, growth, and subsequent association with Britain.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Barr, Dugald, and Eric Elstob

Eric Elstob looks back on over thirty years in Japan in a career that started with the Foreign and Colonial Investment Trust. Meanwhile, Dugald Barr was recruited in 1969 by Vickers, da Costa, a company that was among the first to invest in the Tokyo market, to conduct research and open their Japan office, the first of a London broker in Japan. With Haruko Fukuda, he built up the largest business of any foreign broker in Japan. Here he racalls his experiences.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Elston, Chris, and Geoffrey Littler

Before the 1970s there seemed to be little scope for British financial services in the closed Japanese market. Japanese membership of the OECD, however, forced gradual changes, along with internal pressure from Japanese companies wanting access to foreign loans. Here Chris Elston, who joined the British Embassy as Financial Counsellor in 1979 recalls his time as Bank of England representative in Japan, and reflects on both the state of Japan's banking system and general accounting practices in the years leading up to the crisis. Meanwhile, Geoffrey Little of HM Treasury gives an account of negotiations to ensure that Britain kept pace with American financial institutions in Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Yamagata-Footman Yuko

This essay details Uyeno Yutaka's (1915- ) family, personal, and business history specifically as it relates to interactions with Britain in the pertrochemical industry.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IV
Author: Hoare, James Edward

This portrait details William Keswick's (1835-1912) impact upon trade between Britain and Japan as part of his long involvement in East Asian trade from the mid 19th to early 20th century.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Koyama Noboru

This portrait considers the unique and outstanding contribution of businessman Yoshimoto Tadasu (1878-1973) to the welfare of the blind in Japan

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