Kanematsu Fusajiro (兼松房治郎)

Fusajiro KANEMATSU (June 25, 1845 - February 6, 1913) was a Japanese businessman. He was the founder of Kanematsu Shoten. His Gago (pseudonym) was Hyakusho-o.

Personal Profile
In 1845, he was born as the son of Yahei HIROMA and Yae in Enokoshima, Osaka. His common name was Goshu KANEMATSU. After his farther went missing, he started to work as an apprentice at the store of soy sauce and miso in Fushimi Nishihama at age of 12 to support his mother. However, next year he moved to live with his relative in Osaka who was known as Tanbaya Enzo in Shintenmamachi. The arrangement didn't last long and after a while, he went to Kyoto and became a live-in worker in the dried food shop of Funaya Shobee in Higashinotoin Manjuji. He stood the cruel abuse of the shop's owner. In 1858 when Kanematsu was 14, he quit working at the shop and became an apprentice in a candle shop in Kyoto. However, he did not do well so after about a year, he quit again. Then Kanematsu started to work for Magotaro who was a rice dealer in Edobori Gocho-me, with the help of Tanbaya. In 1859, when he was just 15, his mother passed away. From 1862 to 1865, he worked as a pageboy of Nagatsune OKABE in Edo. Around the Meiji Restoration, he was engaged in the business of cotton and general merchandise in Osaka and Yokohama, and from 1873 to 1881, he worked at the Osaka branch of Mitsuigumi Ginkoubu (currently known as Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation) and became the CEO and executive of Dojima Rice Market Firm. In 1882 he was involved in the foundation of Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK Lines) and became the CEO but resigned in 1886.
In 1887, he bought out a newpaper company called 'Osaka Nippo' and next year he renamed it as 'Osaka Mainichi Shimbun.'
He created the foundation of Mainichi Newspaper Co., Ltd. In 1889, he handed over the administration of 'Osaka Mainichi Shimbun' to Hikochi MOTOYAMA, and established Kanematsu Shoten (later known as Kanamatsu Esho, currently known as Kanematsu) and worked in the trading between Japan and Australia. In 1990, he also started the trading with China.

[Original Japanese]