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Ichizo Kobayashi
Birth: Jan. 3, 1873, Japan
Death: Jan. 25, 1957
Osaka, Japan

Entrepreneur, Politician. At the height of his political career, he served as Japan's Minister of Commerce and Industry. Kobayashi founded the Hankyu Railway Company in 1907 and later served as the president of council of the Tokyo Gasu Denky. Perhaps his most famous business venture was the creation of Japan's largest movie studio, Toho, in 1932. Around that time, he formed the Taisei Yokusankai Group with Shozo Murata and Akira Kazami. They supported political reform that focused on economic militaristic and socialistic endeavors. Kobayashi saw merit in some of Adolf Hitler's policies and voiced that sentiment during a press interview during a business visit to Germany. Kobayashi supported capitalistic ventures via conquests over other Asian nations and a totalitarian right-socialist government. In 1940, Kobayashi led a diplomatic mission to the Dutch East Indies to negotiate a new agreement for Dutch oil. Included in his delegation were six high-ranking military officers, one of whom was Rear Admiral Tadashi Maeda. The Dutch Embassy in Japan did not actively take part, although the Dutch Ambassador in Tokyo, J.C. Pabst, had received a preliminary list of Japanese requests earlier in the year. The negotiations were sluggish and Kobayashi was recalled to Japan prior to their completion. After establishing the Hankyu train operations, Kobayashi subsequently established a department store conglomerate and the Takarazuka theater. After his death, his villa was opened to the public as the Itsuo Art Museum. (bio by: Warrick L. Barrett) 
Osaka, Japan
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Warrick L. Barrett
Record added: Jul 14, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20453297
Ichizo Kobayashi
Added by: Anthony S
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