The Brothers: The Hidden World of Japan's Richest Family

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9780679425540: The Brothers: The Hidden World of Japan's Richest Family

The epic, untold story of the men behind Japan's greatest business dynasty, and their rise from obscurity to extreme wealth and power, The Brothers recounts the public and private lives of the Tsutsumi family, who are to Japan what the Rockefellers or the Gettys are to the West.

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From Booklist:

The saga of Japan's Tsutsumi family is the stuff of a classic Akira Kurosawa movie epic. It is the story of bitter rivalry between half brothers who together own one-sixth of Japan's most valuable and limited resource--land. Seiji is the rebel son and novelist-poet who heads Seibu Department Stores, the pricey, ultrachic chain that makes up Japan's largest retail group. Yoshiaki is the illegitimate but favored son who inherited most of his father's wealth and is now considered the world's richest man, with a global empire of hotels, ski resorts, and golf courses known as the Seibu Group. Downer, who has covered Japan for various publications and wrote the historical travelogue On the Narrow Road: Journey into a Lost Japan (1989), which became a BBC documentary, tells how the patriarch Yasujiro accumulated vast riches and power by speculating on land just after World War II. The elder Tsutsumi acquired mistresses and prime ministers alike and became one of the most despised men in Japan. By Japanese standards Downer had unprecedented cooperation from insiders, family members, and the two brothers themselves, though neither spoke with her directly. Much of the Japanese source material she translated herself. The result is a highly informative, fascinating book. David Rouse

From Publishers Weekly:

The Sultan of Brunei and the Queen of England are said to be the only people in the world richer than Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, whose assets are variously estimated to be between $9 billion and $22 billion. Although largely unknown in the West, his family has played an important role in the development of post-WWII Japan. His father, founder of the Seibu corporation and a land developer, became speaker of the Diet and a dominant figure in business and government. Yoshiaki, who inherited the major portion of his father's estate, owns a sixth of all the land in Japan, and he too has been a powerful player in Japanese politics. His brother, Seiko, an accomplished writer, was less favored, inheriting a relatively small portion of the Tsutsumi estate; but he also built a business empire. In detailing the family's private and public lives, business dealings, brushes with the Mafia, mistresses, wives and political maneuvers, British journalist Downer (On the Narrow Road to the Deep North), with privileged access to the family, offers important and fresh insights into the last 50 years of Japanese history as it was touched by the Tsutsumi dynasty. In themselves, the family's personal relationships and scandals are the stuff of classic drama.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Downer, Lesley
Published by Random House (1995)
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Book Description Random House, NY, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. first printing---the hidden world of Japan's richest family---robber barons, Japanese style-----price intact---no owner markings---not a remainder---very beautiful dust jacket designed by Andy Carpenter------- in pristine condition---gift quality---in mylar dj cover and shipped in cartonl--international order will require additonal postage. Size: 8vo. Bookseller Inventory # 004228

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