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Corporate Forms and Organizational Choice in International Insurance$
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Robin Pearson and Takau Yoneyama

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198739005

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198739005.001.0001

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Tsuneta Yano, Founder of the First Mutual Company in Japan

Tsuneta Yano, Founder of the First Mutual Company in Japan

Was He an Obstinate Mutualist?

(p.29) 2 Tsuneta Yano, Founder of the First Mutual Company in Japan
Corporate Forms and Organizational Choice in International Insurance

Takau Yoneyama

Oxford University Press

This chapter sheds new light on a major Japanese insurance entrepreneur’s ideas about organizational choice. The Dai-ichi Life Mutual Insurance Company converted into a stock company in 2010. It had been a mutual since its foundation in 1902. In the history of business thought in Japan, Tsuneta Yano, the founder of the company, was a well-known advocate of mutualism. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Japanese public reacted with astonishment to the news of the Dai-ichi Life’s demutualization. This chapter asks whether the modern company made a decision that ran counter to the intentions of its founder. Upon a closer investigation of his ideas, it appears that Yano was not an obstinate mutualist, but essentially a latitudinarian who was prepared to embrace the stock company form in the event that historical conditions changed.

Keywords:   mutual company, stock company, mutualist, Tsuneta Yano, Insurance Business Act of 1900, Japan, entrepreneurship, Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company

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