Toyo Takushoku (東洋拓殖)

Toyo Takushoku Kabushiki Gaisha was a special company established for the purpose of carrying forward colonial enterprises in Korea during the era of the Great Empire of Japan.

On December 18, 1908, it was jointly established by the government of the Korean Empire and the private capital of Japan and Korea based on Toyo Takushoku Kabushiki Gaisha Law (Totaku Law). The first president was Kazumasa USAGAWA (Rank: lieutenant general). Its head office was initially located at Hanseong (Keijo as it was renamed upon the annexation of Korea, and Seoul Special City as it is known today). It owned the land of 5,700 cho (approx.5,700 hectares) in Korea and engaged in immigration and development by the Japanese.

Since the time of its foundation, the company proceeded with purchase of the land with financial help from the national government. 11,400 chobo (approx. 11,400 hectares) of the land that had been condemned by Japan based on the Comprehensive Land Survey in Korea (from 1910 to 1918) were portioned out as an investment in kind. This sort of event caused deep resentment among the Korean farmers and the land acquisition was once aborted. In 1919, however, the land owned by the company amounted to 78,000 hectares (equivalent to about 1.8 percent of the total acreage under cultivation).

Although the immigration project of the company fell through, it placed the focus on land-owning and money-lending businesses making Korean people work in the condemned land under Kisei Jinushi Sei (the landownership in the period of the establishment of the Japanese capitalism). Consequently, it became the largest landowner in Korea under Japanese rule during the time until Japan was defeated in the war. 78,667 people farmed the land as tenants in 1937. Furthermore, it became the center of Japanese colonial administration in Korea both nominally and virtually as symbolized by the fact that the Imperial Family owned the stock of the company.

Due to the revision of the Totaku Law in 1917, the head office was moved to Tokyo. At the same time, its area of business was expanded to include Manchuria, Mongolia, North China and the South Sea Islands.