Carlos Ghosn is a French–Lebanese–Brazilian businessman who served as the CEO of Michelin North America. He also served as the chairman and CEO of Nissan and Renault. In 1999, he saved Nissan from near bankruptcy and turned around its fortune. In 2018, he was arrested in Japan for misusing Nissan's assets. He dramatically escaped from the custody is currently an internationally wanted fugitive.
Masayoshi Son is a Japanese technology entrepreneur, philanthropist, and investor. He is credited with founding SoftBank, a popular Japanese holding company, for which he also serves as the chief executive officer. One of the richest men in Japan, Son has pledged to donate $120 million to support the victims affected by the 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku.
Nobu Matsuhisa is a Japanese restaurateur and celebrity chef best known for his fusion cuisine; he often blends Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients, creating a new style of cuisine. Matsuhisa owns restaurants in several countries and has also authored many cookbooks.
Yusaku Maezawa is a Japanese art collector and entrepreneur. He is credited with founding Japan's largest online fashion store, Zozotown. He is also credited with founding Contemporary Art Foundation, which aims at supporting young artists. Yusaku Maezawa is one of the richest men in Japan.
Soichiro Honda was a Japanese industrialist and engineer. He is credited with establishing the world-renowned automobile manufacturer, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. He is also credited with overseeing the company's growth from a wooden shack manufacturing unit to a multinational conglomerate manufacturer of motorcycle and automobile. Soichiro Honda was made an inductee of the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1989.
Tadashi Yanai is a Japanese businessman best known as the founder of Fast Retailing, Uniqlo's parent company. Yanai also serves as the president of Fast Retailing. One of the wealthiest businessmen in the world, Tadashi Yanai was also included in Bloomberg Markets Magazine's 50 Most Influential People list in 2012. Yanai is also known for his philanthropic efforts.
Momofuku Ando was a Taiwanese-Japanese businessman and inventor. He is credited with founding the popular Japanese food company, Nissin Food Products Co., Ltd. Credited with creating brands like Cup Noodles and Top Ramen, Momofuku Ando is widely regarded as the inventor of instant noodles. During his lifetime, Ando was honored with medals, such as the Order of the Rising Sun.
Fusajiro Yamauchi was a Japanese entrepreneur best remembered for founding Nintendo. He also served as the first president of the company. Yamauchi started the company as a hanafuda card-making unit. Nintendo Koppai cards were the only exception in a time when the Japanese government had banned other playing cards due to their association with gambling.
Hiroyuki Nishimura is a Japanese internet entrepreneur. He is best known as the founder of 2channel, the most accessed Japanese internet forum. In 2015, Nishimura bought 4chan from Christopher Poole and currently serves as the administrator of 4chan.
Kiichiro Toyoda was a Japanese businessman and the creator of Toyota Motor Corporation. The son of Sakichi Toyoda, who founded Toyoda Loom Works, Kiichiro Toyoda is credited with changing the focus of his father's company from loom manufacture to an automobile manufacturing unit. Kiichiro Toyoda is also credited with overseeing Toyota's growth in its initial years.
Hiroshi Yamauchi was a Japanese businessman best remembered for his service as the president of the popular multinational video game company, Nintendo. Yamauchi joined the company in 1949 and stepped down as the president on 24 May 2002. Hiroshi Yamauchi is credited with transforming Nintendo from a card-making company to a multibillion-dollar global conglomerate.
Masaru Ibuka was a Japanese industrialist best remembered for co-founding Sony Group Corporation along with Akio Morita. From 1950 to 1971, Ibuka served as the company's president. When he retired in 1976, Morita was named chairman of Sony. Ibuka was the recipient of several prestigious awards such as the IEEE Founders Medal and the Medal of Honor with Blue Ribbon.
Hiroshi Mikitani is a Japanese writer and businessman. He is best known as the founder of the popular online retailing and electronic commerce company, Rakuten Group, Inc., where he also serves as the CEO. Hiroshi Mikitani also serves as the president of Crimson Group.
Akio Morita was a Japanese businessman best remembered as the co-founder of Sony Group Corporation along with Masaru Ibuka. He also served as the president of Sony from 1971 and later served as its chairman. Akio Morita was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Albert Medal.
Toshio Suzuki is a Japanese film producer best known for producing anime. He is also credited with co-founding an animation film studio named Studio Ghibli, where he also served as the president. The enormous box office success of many Ghibli films has established Toshio Suzuki as one of the most successful producers in Japan.
Joi Ito is a Japanese venture capitalist and entrepreneur best known for his association with Internet and technology companies. He is credited with founding several companies like Infoseek Japan, Digital Garage, and PSINet Japan. Over the years, Joi Ito has been honored with several prestigious awards like the Golden Plate Award and the IRI Medal.
Ken Kutaragi is a Japanese businessman and engineering technologist. He is best known as the former CEO and chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIEI). He is currently serving as the CEO and president of Cyber AI Entertainment. Nicknamed the Father of the PlayStation, Ken Kutaragi is credited with overseeing the development of PlayStation and its successors and spinoffs.
Japanese businessman and industrial engineer Ohno Taiichi is remembered for his efforts toward the reduction of muda, or waste, and the implementation of the kanban, or just-in-time system in Toyota. His popular books on manufacturing include Toyota Production System and Just-in-Time for Today and Tomorrow.
Kazushige Nojima is a Japanese video game writer best known for writing some of the installments of the Final Fantasy franchise, such as Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, and Final Fantasy X. Kazushige Nojima is also credited with founding a freelance scenario company called Stellavista Ltd.
Widely known as the God of Management in Japan, Kōnosuke Matsushita began his career as an errand boy and gradually set up his own consumer electric appliances manufacturing company, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. He later founded the brand Panasonic. He had also penned several books on management.
Shoichiro Toyoda is a Japanese former business executive best known for his service as the chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation. He is also known for working as the chairman of Japan Business Federation. Shoichiro Toyoda is credited with approving the development of Toyota's Prius hybrid and the Lexus brand.
Born into a samurai noble family of Japan, industrialist Iwasaki Yatarō started his career working for the Yamauchi clan. He later joined a shipping company and later transformed it into Mitsubishi, which formed strong ties with the Japanese government and prospered, branching out to other industrial ventures.
Japanese pearl farmer and entrepreneur Mikimoto Kōkichi pioneered the cultured pearl industry. He later monopolized the industry, organizing exhibitions and launching sales offices worldwide. A crown manufactured by the Mikimoto Pearl Company was later used by Ms. Universe winners, while the company also designed for the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants.
Make-up artist and entrepreneur Shu Uemura was once Hollywood’s most sought-after artist and soared to fame after transforming actor Shirley MacLaine into a geisha. He later launched the Shu Uemura brand of cosmetics and make-up school. He later sold the controlling rights of his brand to L'Oréal.
Industrialist Shishaku Shibusawa Eiichi is remembered as one of the pioneers of capitalism in Japan. Born into a peasant family, he grew up to become a government official and brought about major reforms in the Meiji period. He founded the First National Bank and also invested in industries such as paper and mining.
Former president and chairman of the Japanese technology conglomerate Sony Corporation, Norio Ohga was also the man who launched the CD. Initially an opera singer, he complained about the quality of the tape recorders of Tokyo Tsushin, which was later renamed Sony, and was soon hired by its owners.
The founder of Level-5, video game designer Akihiro Hino began his career as a programmer and later designed popular games such as the Dark Cloud series and the Professor Layton series. He has designed for major console brands such as PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, and PlayStation Portable.
The founder of Korean candy giant Lotte, Shin Kyuk-ho started as a chewing gum maker but later expanded the Lotte Group to include industries such as hotels, fast food outlets, and department stores, and even 2 baseball teams. One of South Korea’s richest people, he was also convicted of embezzlement later.
Initially an economics professor, Taikichiro Mori later became a billionaire real-estate developer. After quitting academics, he built a real-estate empire in Tokyo, named the Mori Building Company. He surpassed Bill Gates to become the richest man in the world, with a fortune worth $16 billion, in 1992.
Den Fujita set up the first McDonald's franchise in Japan and was hugely successful owing to its signature dish, the Japanese-styled Teriyaki McBurger. He also headed companies such as Toys 'R' Us and Softbank, and penned several books on business strategy, too, including the bestseller The Jewish Way of Doing Business.
Shin Dong-bin is a Korean-Japanese businessman best known as the CEO of Lotte Corporation, which was founded by his father Shin Kyuk-ho. After a long legal battle with his brother Shin Dong-ju, Shin Dong-bin gained control over the company. He also serves as the Chairman of Lotte Korea and CEO of the Chiba Lotte Marines baseball team.
Former chairman and chief executive of Sony, Nobuyuki Idei also served on the board of companies such as General Motors, Accenture, and Nestlé. He switched Sony’s focus from stand-alone electronic devices to interconnected devices that used the internet or could be connected to mobile phones. He later helmed a management consultancy.
Genichi Kawakami was the first son of Kaichi Kawakami, former president of his family company, Nippon Gakki, which later became Yamaha. Genichi later headed Yamaha as its president and diversified its product range, including not just musical instruments, but motor cycles, auto parts, and sewing machines, too.
Japanese economist and banker Masaaki Shirakawa joined the Bank of Japan following his graduation. He moved up the career ladder in the bank and after a brief hiatus, during which time he worked at Kyoto University, Shirakawa rejoined the bank and soon became its 30th Governor. He is professor at Aoyama Gakuin University and a Director and Vice-Chairman of BIS.
Koki Ando is the incumbent president and CEO of the Japanese food company called Nissin Foods Holdings Co. Ltd. He took charge after his father Momofuku Ando (Go Pek-Hok), founder of the company, died in January 2007. Momofuku was an inventor and businessman known for inventing instant noodles (ramen noodles) and creating the brands Top Ramen and Cup Noodles.
Japanese celebrity chef Seiji Yamamoto is best known for his Michelin-star Tokyo restaurant Nihonryori RyuGin, which is considered one of the world’s 50 best restaurants. Considered a pioneer of avant-garde Japanese cuisine, he is known for his own version of the hamo eel soup, his signature dish.
The founder of the Japanese financial conglomerate Yasuda zaibatsu, Yasuda Zenjirō was born into a poor samurai family and ran away from home in his early days to start his exchange brokerage in Tokyo. He set up a banking empire in the Meiji era and branched out to shipping, railways, and other industries.
Chinese-Japanese entrepreneur and philanthropist Z.Y. Fu formed Sansaio Trading Corporation of Japan. He established Fu Foundation that started a scholarship program to support Chinese students studying at Columbia University. He is known for donating $26 million to Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science following which it was named after him as Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Japanese business tycoon Dan Takuma served as the director-general of the Mitsui conglomerate. An MIT alumnus, he was later also instrumental in improving economic ties between Japan and the US and other Western powers. He was eventually assassinated by right-wing nationalist Gorō Hishinuma for undervaluing Japan in favor of Britain.
Italian-born entrepreneur Delfo Zorzi was fascinated by Asian languages and studied the same, before moving to Japan. He later changed his name to Roi Hagen and headed several luxury fashion stores. He was accused of dealing in fur using a fake name and was also named in the Pandora Papers for tax evasion.
Hailing from a Japanese peasant-family, Ōkura Kihachirō went a long way and established himself as a noted Japanese entrepreneur. He founded Ōkura-gumi zaibatsu, which eventually became Taisei Corporation; and Ōkura Shōgyō Gakkō that was chartered as Tokyo University of Economics in 1949. He was a principal-business-investor of the original Imperial Hotel and established Ōkura Shukokan, the first private-museum of Japan.
Yoshiaki Murakami is a Japanese investor and former bureaucrat of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). He is credited with founding the Murakami Family Foundation and co-founding the Murakami Fund.
Starting his career as a coal merchant, Japanese entrepreneur Asano Sōichirō later came to be known as the cement king for founding Asano Cement. His conglomerate diversified into industries such as beer brewing, construction, mining, shipping, and communications technology. He is also known as the father of Keihin industrial area.
Yukio Okamoto was a Japanese diplomatic analyst, diplomat, and supporter of strong political and economic Japan–United States relations. He is best remembered for overseeing the American and Japanese diplomatic relations throughout the 1980s. Yukio Okamoto is also remembered for serving as a diplomatic advisor to several prime ministers, including Junichiro Koizumi and Ryutaro Hashimoto.
Batara Eto is a Japanese businessman best known as the co-founder of a Japanese social networking site called mixi. He is currently serving as the Chief Technology Officer of mixi. Batara Eto is also credited with co-founding a venture capital firm called East Ventures.
Toshihiko Fukui is a Japanese central banker and economist. He is best known for his service as the Governor of the Bank of Japan from 20 March 2003 to 19 March 2008. A respected banker, Toshihiko Fukui also served as the director of the Bank for International Settlements.
Isao Nakauchi was a Japanese businessman who is credited with founding Daiei, one of Japan's largest supermarket chains. Nakauchi is also credited with founding the University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences, which is situated in Kobe, the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture.