- Bill Gates, 58, of the US of A is the richest man in the world at $76 billion thanks to his Microsoft business…
- Mexico's Carlos Slim Helu, 74, & family of Mexico are worth $72 billion thanks to his involvement in the telecom industries.
- Amancio Ortega, 77, of Spain has $64 billion thanks to his policy of buying low and selling high in retail.
- 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.
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.|
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 $1-billion = ¥102,647,490,761.46, according to XE.com.
Rank: Name (surname first) Age Racket US$ (billions)
42 Son Masayoshi 56 Internet $18.4
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
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
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!