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Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Billionaires Of Japan

  1. Bill Gates, 58, of the US of A is the richest man in the world at $76 billion thanks to his Microsoft business… 
  2. Mexico's Carlos Slim Helu, 74, & family of Mexico are worth $72 billion thanks to his involvement in the telecom industries.
  3. Amancio Ortega, 77, of Spain has $64 billion thanks to his policy of buying low and selling high in retail.
  4. Warren Buffet, 83, also of the U.S. has $58.2 billion thanks to Berkshire Hathaway - I've heard of it, but know nothing about the multinational conglomerate holding company, except that owns a lot of GEICO, does life insurance, annuity sales and sales of jewelry.
These are the four richest people on the planet with US dollar figures OVER $50 billion.

That photo above... each band of bills contains 100 US $100 bills... or $10,000 each. There's mega millions there... probably not a billion. To see $76 billion... you might actually be able to swim in it by diving through it like a porpoise a la Uncle Scrooge McDuck.  
Robert Hughes. He was buried in a piano case, I think. Poor bastard.
You know.. back in the mid-1970s, when I wasn't reading Uncle Scrooge comics, I used to love to look at the Guinness Book of World Records and after making sure that Robert Hughes (above) was still the world's heaviest man at 1041 lbs (472.19 kg), I would check out the world's richest men. And men they always were.

There were, for lack of the book in front of me, about nine billionaires in total - most of them from the late 19th century, thanks to their robber baron tactics and lack of unionized labor.

In the ensuing 40 years since I glimpsed my first world record, not only have the type of records being allowed in this once hallowed shrine gone stupid, but so too are the number of the planet's billionaires.

As of 2014, there are 1,645 billionaires in total… whoops.. we just lost seven… wait a minute… now we just gained eight… no, there goes one...

Yes… 1,645 billionaires… That's in US dollars. And, it's according to Forbes.

Full list of them all - HERE.

So… I wondered - just who are Japan's billionaires? Are there any?

Of course there are… but I must admit that the reason many are billionaires is surprising.

Oh, I know that everybody is intelligent and hard-working… I was just surprised at some of the industries they were involved in, while also noting that industries I thought would be a popular way of making money don't appear to be as lucrative.

You might be surprised to learn that Japan's first billionaire does not show up on the Forbes list until #42… but don't worry… he's doing okay.

Here's an edited version of the Forbes billionaire list showing just the Japanese members of this rather exclusive club… though I don't know how exclusive it can actually be if they have 1,645 members.

Just note that as of March 5, 2014, US $1-billion =  ¥102,647,490,761.46, according to

Rank:               Name (surname first)        Age      Racket                US$ (billions)

42                  Son Masayoshi                        56         Internet                  $18.4
                                                                                   & Telecom   
He's in a 3-way tie with Nike's Phil Knight of the US and Michael Otto & Family (retail and real estate) of Germany.

45                  Yanai Tadashi & family            65         Retail                     $17.9

132                Mikitani Hiroshi                       49         On-line retail          $9.3

207                Takizaki Takemitsu                  68         Sensors                 $6.6

295                Busujima Kunio & family          88        Gaming                  $4.9

354                Mori Akira & family                 77        Real Estate            $4.2

446                Ito Masatosh                            89        Retail                     $3.5

446                Takahara Keiichiro                   82        Diapers                  $3.5

466                Chang-Woo Han & family        83        Gaming                  $3.4

609                Miki Masahiro                          58        Retail                     $2.8

663               Shigeta Yasumitsu                     49        Mobile Telecom     $2.6

687               Nagamori Shigennobu               69        Motors                   $2.5

796                Baba Naruatsu                         36        Smartphone            $2.2   
                                                                                  Game maker

1046             Tada Katsumi                            68        Real Estate            $1.7

1092             Tanaka Yoshikazu                     37        Social                    $1.6

1210              Kozuki Kagemasa                    73       Gaming                   $1.4

1210              Mori Yoshiko                           73       Inherited,               $1.4
                                                                                  Mori Building

1210             Yasuda Takao                           64       Retail                     $1.4

1270             Okada Kazuo & family              71       Casinos                  $1.35

1284             Nitori Akio                                70       Retail                     $1.3

1356             Fukutake Soichiro                     68       Education               $1.25

1356             Maezawa Yusaku                      38      On-line Retail          $1.25

1465             Saji Nobutada                           68      Beverages               $1.1

1465             Satomi Hajime                           72      Gaming                  $1.1

1540             Jinnai Ryoichi                             87      Finance,                $1.05

1565             Uehara Shoji                             86       Pharmaceuticals     $1.0

That's a total of 26 billionaires from Japan. Impressive.

But was anyone else surprised that food wasn't high up on the industries? How about Diapers? Takahara Keiichiro made $3.5 billion from diapers. I read that and I nearly peed my pants.

As for age: Baba Naruatsu is the youngest Japanese billionaire at 36 and is making his money from Smartphone video games manufacture. At 37 years of age, Tanaka Yoshikazu does it through social networking. Clearly both are a young person's profession - or at least young at heart.

I am surprised at how many billionaires there are through gaming, which I can only suppose means pachinko? I could be wrong… but there are certainly others listed here who are involved in casinos.

Now… call me old-fashioned, but when I think of gaming and casino-owners I tend to think about the 'legitimate business men's club' where you didn't see nuthin' and you better fuggedaboudit. The Tong… The Cosa Nostra… The Triads or in Japan, the Yakuza.

But who knows? I think it's rare for anyone to get that rich legitimately, but if they all did - more power to them.

I would think that any one of these people alone could resolve the societal issues at Fukushima, but few people ever got rich at being a philanthropist.

If you were in your mid-30s to mid-50s… what crazy thing would YOU do with yourself or your money?

I would own one of every comic book printed from say 1933 to 1980. Maybe I'd buy myself an island. Get laid. Or the moral dilemma of either hookers or heroin... hookers or heroin... maybe hookers on heroin? LOL.

Then again... I am a pretty simple guy, despite my complex... I mean, complexities. I'd probably do the comic book thing.

Or... maybe I'd figure out a way to do columns on this stupid blog template!

Andrew Joseph


  1. There must be something these people who went on to become billionaires be doing. There must be an equation. Could it be something they do before they sleep?

  2. Well, the big change of this people came from their own ventures although real life billionaires came from investment industry such as banking real estate etc. in singapore, young entrepreneur mostly came and started as real estate agents until they succeed and have founded their own.