Our HistoryOur Roots

Founder Chubei Itoh (1842-1903)

Chubei Itoh(1842-1903)

The second son of the 5th Chobei Itoh. He began business trips to deal in linen cloth in 1858 at age 15. This is regarded as Marubeni's founding year.
In 1872, Chubei opened Benchu, a drapery store in Senba, Osaka, and established a management foundation. He began exporting general goods to the U.S. in 1890.
Meanwhile, he formalized his system of “tripartite division of profits principle”, and set up store regulation that clarified the duties of the employer and the employee. He was also good at training and recruiting talented people. In 1891, he was asked to become the mayor of the village of Toyosato, and mainly contributed to education.

First President of Marubeni Shoten The 9th Chobei Itoh (1868-1941)

First President of Marubeni Shoten
The 9th Chobei Itoh(1868-1941)

The 9th Chobei Itoh succeeded the 6th Chobei – the 10-year senior brother of Chubei Itoh. As acting head of the family, he expanded business to Osaka in 1919. There was talk of a merger with the depression-stricken Itochu Shoten, so the Itoh Chobei Shoten and Itochu Shoten merged into Marubeni Shoten in 1921. The 9th Chobei became its first president.
The 9th Chobei served as the mayor of the village of Toyosato for three years from 1909. Also a charitable person, he gave funds to establish the Toyosato Hospital in 1925.

Marubeni Shoten's Senior Managing Director Tetsujiro Furukawa (1878-1940)

Marubeni Shoten's Senior Managing Director
Tetsujiro Furukawa(1878-1940)

Chubei Itoh's nephew Tetsujiro Furukawa became Marubeni Shoten's Senior Managing Director. He introduced modern management methods such as the credit system and the budget system, while also helping to create a mutually beneficial and creative company culture by establishing the Five Marubeni Precepts.
He went on an overseas inspection tour in 1928, which prompted him to focus on strengthening elementary education in Toyosato. He made a number of donations including the construction of Toyosato Elementary School in 1937, the renovation of the teachers' residence and the construction of the school's lunch room.

The Philanthropic Endeavor of an Ohmi Merchant

First President of Marubeni Co., Ltd. Shinobu Ichikawa (1897-1973)

First President of Marubeni Co., Ltd.
Shinobu Ichikawa(1897-1973)

The first president of Marubeni Co., Ltd. He made Marubeni survive the difficult times just after the foundation, and led the company to the general trading company by establishing a global network, entering various business fields and merging with Iida & Co., Ltd. All these are the underpinnings of today's Marubeni.
On December 1, 1949, President Shinobu Ichikawa expressed the new firm's management philosophy in terms of fairness, innovation, and harmony, concepts that to this day have continued to serve the sustainable progress of the company.