Matsumoto Jutaro (松本重太郎)

Jutaro MATSUMOTO (October 5, 1844 - June 20, 1913) was Japanese businessman. He was the grand person in the economic world in Kansai region. His original family name was MATSUOKA and his childhood name was Kamezo. He participated in establishing and managing many companies in fertilizer, bank, spinning, railway and other industries and was called MATSUMOTO in western Japan and SHIBUSAWA in eastern Japan.

He was born as the second son of Kameemon, the peasant in Taiza, Takeno County, Tango Province. He was apprenticed to Kanshichi HISHIYA, a kimono fabrics dealer in Kyoto at the age of 10. Three years later, he moved to Osaka to change to Rihachi WATAYA, a kimono fabrics dealer in Tenma, where he had worked for more than ten years. WATAYA was one of the famous kimono fabrics wholesalers in Osaka, where he was able to lay the groundwork for succeeding as a merchant. He became independent around the age of 24 in 1868 and changed his name to Jutaro MATSUMOTO. It was the year when the ports in Hyogo and Osaka Prefectures opened. Immediately, Jutaro started the business as a broker of Western fabrics. There were already merchants including Kichirobe YAMAGUCHI, Kyube ITO and Hebe HIRANO in Osaka who rapidly succeeded once they started to deal Western fabrics. He was a peddler at first, but he had his shop 'Tanjyu' as its yago (the name of the store) in Hirano-cho, Higashi Ward around 1870. It was when Seinan War happened that Jutaro made a big breakthrough and then he gained enormous profit by buying up wool.

Establishment of the one-hundred and thirtieth bank
Jutaro who built the certain place as an Western fabrics dealer established the one-hundred and thirtieth bank with 250 thousand yen of common stock in Koraibashi, Higashi Ward in 1878. In alignment with Shinobu KOMURO who was ex-feudal retainer of Tokushima Domain, he succeeded in persuading ex-feudal retainers of Miyazu and Fukuchiyama Domains to invest Kinroku-kosai as common stock. The first president was Sakizo, the father of KOMURO and directors were Shosaburo SHIBUYA (the cotton wool dealer in Osaka), Sashichiro INADA (the Western fabrics dealer in Osaka) and 松本誠直 (the shareholder in Miyazu) while Jutaro became the director and manager. In 1880, Jutaro became the president. Thus, it held 2,520 thousand yen of deposit and 2,780 thousand yen of loan in 1896 which was the same level of Sumitomo Bank with 2,480 thousand yen of deposit and 3,110 thousand yen of loan, and these two banks occupied the top positions in Osaka-based banks. Due to expiry dissolution of the national bank in 1898, it shifted to the ordinary bank to become the one-hundred and thirtieth bank. After absorbing the one-hundred and thirty-sixth bank, Osaka Kogyo Bank, Konishi Bank, Nishijin Bank, Fukuchiyama Bank and the eighty-seventh Bank, it became the big bank with 3,250 thousand yen of common stock and fifteen branches in Osaka, Kyoto, Shiga, Fukui and Fukuoka Prefectures at the end of 1902. Jutaro became the chairman of the committee of Osaka Bank in October 1898, which meant that he became a top banker with an established reputation in Osaka. However, the management of the one-hundred and thirtieth bank started to fall down at that time. It greatly related to the performances of other businesses which Jutaro expanded to.

Spinning and railway
The business greatly related to Jutaro's Western fabrics dealing business was Osaka Spinning established in 1882. It was combined of the plan of spinning company by Tokyo capital by Eiichi SHIBUSAWA, Takashi MASUDA, Kihachiro OKURA and others and by the peerage capital and that plan by Jutaro MATSUMOTO, Denzaburo FUJITA and others. Fifty-six of ninety-five shareholders were merchants in Osaka, who occupied thirty one percent of paid-in capital. Its location was decided to Osaka due to mediation by MATSUMOTO and FUJITA, and the concerned parties from Osaka played a greater role after its foundation such as Denzaburo FUJITA as the first president, MATSUMOTO as the director and Seizo KAMATA as the commercial manager who was the clerk of Crepe Kimono wholesaler run by Shinobu KOMURO. The shareholding ratio of merchants in Osaka continuously increased later and Jutaro had served as the president until January 1898 since January 1887. As the business of Shibuya Spinning Plant equipped with spinning machinery originally rent from government had financial difficulty in 1884, Jutaro bought it from Shozaburo SHIBUYA and made it Dojima Spinning Plant. He established Nippon Spinning for both spinning and weaving in January 1895 to become its president and absorbed Dojima Spinning Plant the next year. Besides, he attempted to supply all of muslin delaine with the highest demand in imported textiles in Japan in 1896 and established Muslin Spinning Company together with the foreign goods dealers in Osaka including Katsutaro INABATA to become its president. He was also involved in establishing Kyoto Seishi, Naigaimen, Osaka Keito and others and became their executives.

Railway business was another mainstay for Jutaro. Jutaro established Hankai Railway which was actually the first private railway company in Japan together with Denzaburo FUJITA, Ichibe TANAKA and others in 1884. As that railway business was favorable with high profitability, Jutaro planed to make thirty-six miles of railway from Sakai to Wakayama and established Nankai Electric Railway Co., Ltd. to become its president in 1895. Nankai Electric Railway Co., Ltd. absorbed Hankai Railway in 1898, which connected Namba and Wakayama.
Though Sanyo Railway Company which was established by Jutaro and others as promoters in 1886 finished railroading between Kobe and Mihara by 1892, its business became depressed due to recession and Hikojiro NAKAMIGAWA, the president resigned in the condition of suspended railroading
Jutaro who became the president in 1892 found the way of fund-raising by loans and bond issuarance and contributed to military transport during the Sino-Japanese War by completing railroading between Mihara and Hiroshima by 1894
Later, Sanyo Railway Company extended its railroad from Mitajiri to Shimonoseki after 1898 and realized the connection with Kyushu Railway through Kanmon Ferry. Involved in the railroads including Katamachi Line, Hankaku Railway, Nanao Line, Hoshu Railway (later, Kyushu Railway) and Sanuki Railway, he greatly contributed to forming railroad network in western Japan. He was also involved in marine transportation such as Taiko Kisen, Naikoku Shipping Company and Osaka Canal Company and so on.

As for other businesses, he also participated in establishing or managing many companies including Nihon Seito, Osaka Alkali, Osaka Beer, Japan Fire Insurance, Japan Educational Life Insurance, Meiji Coal Mine.

Failure of MATSUMOTO
Some of the companies which Jutaro was involved in fell into a serious slump due to the depression in 1901 to 1902, which adversely influenced on the management of the one-hundred and thirtieth bank. The case of Nippon spinning was especially serious, which suffered from a slump because of inferior quality of products and unfavorable sales in Chinese market with great importance and such trouble was covered up with the loan from the one-hundred and thirtieth bank. When the one-hundred and thirtieth bank fell into bankruptcy in June 1904, its loan to Nippon spinning amounted to more than 1,700 thousand yen almost of which had already become bad debt.
Besides, the one-hundred and thirtieth bank provided large financing to its president, MATSUMOTO himself or Western fabrics dealer, Matsumoto Shoten (more than 1,650 thousand yen in total.)
Western fabric dealers were much damaged by depression and Matsumoto Shoten was no exception. Many case of loans to companies which Jutaro was involved in had debt guarantees by him. After all, more than 1,240 thousand yen of the loan to Jutaro turned sour at the time of bankruptcy of the one-hundred and thirtieth bank. These bad debts were generated in the head office of the one-hundred and thirtieth bank, but Kyoto, Fukui, Moji and other branches also had much bad debts. It finally had to close its business in June 1904 and its restructuring was left to Zenjiro YASUDA who received the special loan from the government. Thus, Jutaro repaid more than 1,010 thousand yen to the one-hundred and thirtieth bank and then resigned not only its president but also all posts of the companies he was involved in.

The principal reason of the failure of the one-hundred and thirtieth bank was because the president, MATSUMOTO used it as the financial institution of the businesses he was involved in. Based on Jutaro's opinion that 'steady people with both excellent capability and skills can be lent enormous property without being significantly questioned if they had mortgage', it was said that the personality-oriented loan policy was adopted. In addition, it was said that its transaction was 'prompt' and popular among merchants in Osaka. Through entrepreneurial activity of Jutaro MATSUMOTO, however, the companies established by MATSUMOTO such as Osaka Spinning (now, Toyobo Co., Ltd.), Nankai Railway (now, Nankai Electric Railway Co., Ltd.), Sanyo Railway (now, West Japan Railway Company), Japan Fire Insurance (now, Japan Fire and Marine Insurance), Osaka Beer (now, Asahi Breweries, Ltd.) and others have still been successful. Besides, many companies made the basis of their development by getting loans through the one-hundred and thirtieth bank. From such aspect, Jutaro MATSUMOTO was the angel for venture businesses. MATSUMOTO went into retirement after the bankruptcy of the one-hundred and thirtieth bank and never returned to the business world again even after completion of its disposal. After pulling up his main luxurious residence in Dojima and shutting himself in the temporary house in Uehommachi, he spent his later life in the residence provided by the regular carpenter.

He adopted Torakichi who was the son of Masayoshi MATSUKATA, genkun (the statesmen who contributed in Meiji Restoration) in the Meiji period. However, he selected Matsuzo INOUE for his successor. Matsuzo married Mitsuko, the fourth daughter of Masayoshi MATSUKATA and their child was Shigeharu MATSUMOTO, a journalist. Shigeharu married Hanako who was the daughter of Kojiro MATSUKATA, the third son of Masayoshi MATSUKATA, which deepened the relationship with the Matsukata family.