Businessman. He founded what would become the Nissan Corporation. A native of Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, he graduated from Tokyo Imperial Industrial University. After his graduation he joined the Shibaura Engineering Works as a probationary worker. He went to the United States to learn technologies for casting, because he found casting methods in Japan to be inadequate and knew that the casting process was essential to mechanical industries. In 1910, he established the Tobata Casting Company with the help of Commerce Minister Kaoru Inoue when he was only 29 years old. In 1927, he settled the debt of the Hisahara group, becoming it's owner. He changed company name "Hisahara Mining Company" to "Nippon Sangyo Co., Ltd.", and the Nippon Kogyo corporation underwrote the enterprises. Nippon Sangyo became a holding company of Nippon Kogyo, Hitachi Seisaku, Hitachi Denryoku and other firms. Nippon Sangyo absorbed many companies in a short time, included Kyodo Gyogyo (Nippon Suisan), Chuo Kasai Kaijyo (Nissan Kasai), and Nihon Chikuonki Shokai (Nihon Colombia). In 1933, the company absorbed Datto Automobile Company, which became "Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.," the following year. As the economy expanded during the war, he established the Nissan Insurance Company, the financial department of the Nissan Fire Insurance Company, and the Nippon Yushi for manufacturing gunpowder. In addition to developing Japan's domestic industrial efforts, he also aggressively pursued industrial expansion into foreign countries. Nippon Sangyo made inroads into Manchu (China) and its name became Manchu Kaihatsu Jyuko (Manchu Developing Industry). He became president of the company. After the Second World War, he was charged as a war criminal, purged from public office and detained in Sugamo prison. After completing his sentence in 1951, he earned election to the House of Councilors in 1953.
Bio by: Warrick L. Barrett