Tadamitsu Matsui

Some may not know who he is but you definitely have heard of the lifestyle brand Muji.  Mr Matsui is the chairman for the Muji brand, who is well known for qualtiy product and simple but yet function-able designs.  Mr Matsui was the one who made the Muji brand profitable again when he took over as chairman in 2001.

At 64 years old, Matsui is still active in traveling for business and has opened its 7th store in Singapore.  Turning around a deficit of 3.8 billion yen to a profit of 162 billion yen in just 5 years is just incredible.  Matsui believed in communication, thus Mujigram was born, for all level of staff to communicate with him and the entire Muji staff.

The funny part of Matsui story is, he graduated as a student with Physical Education as his main stream, so how did this PE graduate become a successful businessman?  does that mean that anything is possible, if you want it so bad?

Nobutada Saji

Nobutada Saji is a very private billionaire, he is the CEO of Suntory Ltd the 4th largest brewer in Japan.   His net worth alone is 7.9 billion. Nobutada was educated in the States, thus his excellence in the English language. Suntory was founded by his grandfather and he is considered the 3rd generation running a family business.  An avid reader and serious swimmer, it is said that after his takeover of the company, Nobutada also acquired non alcoholic drinks company like Orangina Schweppes Group and a New Zealand Beverage company.  2 months ago, I read that Nobutada will be raising $4billion to bring his company into IPO, so I’m watching closely to see how well, Suntory will do.

Shiro Nakamura

Shiro Nakamura is the Chief Creative Officer of Nissan and has the nickname of “Fingers”  – they say that one can interpret his nickname in many ways – I am sure good ones.  Mr N – is very hands on with his creativity and a music lover who plays cello.   Apparently, he gets his inspiration from shoes, video games, and even bumblebees.  The first global mass market electric car is made to sell – and not just for specified buyers but for everyone.  Mr N who is 59 understands the market and what people needs and that is what he is giving to the people in his creativity with the Nissan cars.  Named as one of the most creative people in the world – I bet a day in Mr N’s life would be very insightful.

Doctor Of Philanthropy

Dr Jumpei Yamamura is not just a ordinary doctor who can give you water retemtion remedies , he is an extraordinary person – a doctor who believes above everything else that helping people is most important.  Whether you are a Japanese or not –  whether you are an illegal immigrant – he will help you if you have a health issue.  If only all doctors in the world is like him and not about money and providing a good life for their family.  Dr Yamamura traveled the world to help people from other countries for humanitarian reasons, he is currently back in Japan but his philanthropy work did not stop – he is still helping people in Japan who need medical assistant – even though this has caused a wrath between him and the authorities.  Dr Yamamura is not interested in politics- he doesn’t want to criticize the government health issues – all he wants to do is to help people.

Tadashi Yanai – Retail Mogul

Tadashi Yanai  name is synonymous to Uniqlo – his family owned Fast retailing or (FR) as most people called it. FR sold cheap casuals to dads back in Japan and when  Tadashi took over the company from his dad – he made the FR brand  – Uniqlo the  best-selling fashion brand in Japan. Named by Forbes as Japan’s richest in 2009 – he had turned his family owned business into a global empire – and his plan is to make FR a 5 trillion Yen company in the year 2020.  He makes all his staff learn the international language of English in order to work in his company and insist on the best  technology for his retail stores and I won’t be surprise if he uses only Symbol LS2208 that I’ve seen everywhere even here in Canada in our retail store like Zellers and Walmart.

He was also on an acquisition spree that started in 2006 – a french lingerie brand – if I remember correctly.   Then his $900 million bid for Barneys – took us all by surprise – and he became Forbes most watched in 2009.  His Uniqlo store is popular that when he opened his store in Singapore in 2009 – about 200 people queued up at the store before opening time.  He probably can really take the retail world like he planned to.

Yoko Nagae Ceschina

This Japanese lady who is 75 years old lives in Italy – married to an Italian businessman who died in 1982 – leaving her a fortune.  But she decided long ago – that her mission in life is to support the arts and help fund many, many orchestras and musician.  Ardent supporter of the New York’s Carnegie Hall since 2005.  Underwrote the New York Philharmonic’s first concert in Pyongyang on Feb. 26, as well as its show in Seoul two days later. As part of the tour, music students in North Korea took classes with Philharmonic musicians and attended their rehearsal.

Yoko’s favorite quote is :”I know nothing about politics, I don’t care about the conflicts between North Korea, Japan, United States. I love music and music is a universal language. I am pleased I can make the concert possible, I hope it can contribute to peace”  And more people should be like her.

Hideki Matsui

Swoon .. is what i feel when i see Hideki Matsui.  Born in Japan in 1974,Hideki is a left fielder and designated hitter for the New York Yankees.  And if you don’t know he bats left handed and throws right handed – amusing eh.   If I am in US, I would definitely be getting those  New York Yankees tickets just to see my favorite Yankee player.

In 2003, when Hideki Matsui signed his contract with the Yankees, i heard that a parade was held to honor him. I watched his first game at the Yankee Stadium and it was awesome and Hideki hit a grand slam.  His currrent earning is $US 13 million…!!!!  But he is generous and definitely very charitable and donated US $500,00 for the flood victim.   He is definitely my inspiration..!