Tadashi Yanai, Japan’s richest billionaire – Japan Inside


Until people decide to go back to their roots and start living naked, there will always be a demand for clothes. Fashionable or not, this market cannot be underestimated. If you go in the right direction there will be a name in the market and a profit margin to earn. There are tons of billionaires involved in the fashion world. Giorgio Armani, Bernard Arnault and similarly Tadashi Yanai.

Tadashi Yanai is the man to thank if you’ve ever gone shopping in one of the 2,100 Uniqlo stores around the world. He is the richest man in Japan with a net worth of $ 28.1 billion thanks to a long career as CEO of parent company Fast Selling.

Tadashi Yanai Start:

Tadashi Yanai

On February 7, 1949, Yanai was born into the mining community of Ube City. His dad owned the Men’s Shop Ogoroi Shoji, so success wasn’t far from a tree for him. The Yanai family lived on the top floor of the building his father built one month after Yanai was born. As the only son, he would one day take Yanai’s place. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Waseda University in Tokyowhere he studied at the Faculty of Political Science and Economics.


Although he is now recognized for his efforts as a leading businessman in Japan, he admits that he lacked motivation when he was younger. Yanai was much more involved in games like Mahjong and the slingshot, while other students participated in the protests on campus.

Yanai reluctantly agreed, on the advice of his father, to start working for a company called Jusco. Although he was not open to using his time selling clothes and household items. As a consequence, he left his position after less than a year of work. Future billionairewho was 23 at the time, returned to his home in Ube and began working in his father’s shop. This meeting rekindled his enthusiasm for the business.

Tadashi Yanai

When Yanai’s father left the company 2 years later, Yanai took over as president of the Ogoroi Shoji men’s shop. By providing products that were both attractive and affordable, it aimed to refresh the business and appeal to the younger ones market. A significant source of inspiration for Giordano at the time was the polo shirts that were very popular in Hong Kong. To learn more about the business, he has scheduled a meeting with Jimmy Lai, founder of Giordano International.

Establishment of Uniqlo:


In the 1980s, Yanai was more interested in casual clothing than the ties and suits offered by Ogoroi Shoji. He took the enormous risk of starting his second business venture, Unique Clothing Warehouse, after being inspired by major retail chains such as Benetton and Gap. In 1984, the first store in Hiroshima opened. Although it took some time for the store to become well known, Yanai used his clever business strategy to attract crowds of people.

From Yanai’s book, company spokesman Beryl Pei-Chi Tung quotes: “The goal was to create a store where consumers could conveniently browse and buy high-quality clothing at fair prices, just like buying a magazine at a bookstore.”


The next four years are the time to open another hundreds of branches, which proves that it was worth taking the risk. Yanai undoubtedly had a hit in the hand. Blooming businessThe name was changed to Uniqlo in 1988. About three years later, Fast Retailing Co reportedly replaced Ogoroi Shoji as the company name.

The opening of the Uniqlo location in Harajuk in 1998 changed the course of the seller for the better.

The billionaire says: “We focused on eco-improvement and united under the brand name Uniqlo, keeping all our products low-priced and of high quality. This was when we launched the Harajuku store, we made a giant leap. “


Fleece jackets from Uniqlo were their signature. According to Business Insider, jackets were a big madness in Japan in 1998, and an estimated 1 in 4 owned them. Fast Selling is currently the world’s most financially valued apparel retailer, reports Quartz, with $ 105.6 billion outperforming Zara’s parent company Inditex.

Also read about: 10 Etiquette Tips You Need to Know Before Visiting Japan

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