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Miyaji Buta
At a pig farm on the western part of Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Yusuke Miyaji has thought about the future of agriculture. The environment that Japan’s agricultural industry currently faces is severe. There is nobody to take over the work. There may come a time in the future where farmers producing food disappear from Japan. How can agriculture in Japan be revitalized? What changes can be made to turn it into an occupation that everybody would like to try their hand at?

Kokando Co., Ltd.
In September 2013, Kokando Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Kokando”) Chairman of the Board of Directors Yasuhiko Shioi was taking a brief rest during a flight back home from a business trip. Although he was resting, he was pondering the future direction of Toyama’s pharmaceutical/patent medicine industry, which has a long history dating back to the Edo Period, and how Kokando should proceed going forward.

Ryobi Holdings
In October 2013, Ryobi Holdings Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Ryobi HD”) Representative Director and President Mitsunobu Kojima looked out from his window at the rows of buildings in front of Okayama Station and considered measures for handing down his business to the next generation. Ryobi HD possesses management principles and business operations that have been handed down for over 100 years, since the era when the company was known as Saidaiji Tramway Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Saidaiji Tramway”). (Appendix 1: History of the Ryobi Group) Now that Ryobi HD has thoroughly inherited these features, how will it find and develop its next generation of human resources in order to manage such features?

Yamato Gokin Co., Ltd.
In September 2013, Yamatogokin Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Yamato Gokin”) Representative Director and President Genjiro Hagino and his father Shigeo Hagino were considering strategies for spreading their company’s technologies globally, as their factory rumbled with the sound of presses.  Yamato Gokin was founded in 1941 by Genjiro’s grandfather Shigeru Hagino, thus making Genjiro the third-generation owner of this family business. In 1943, Shigeru reorganized the company’s predecessor Fuji Tokushu Kinzoku Research Institute into Yamatogokin Co., Ltd. in order to respond to growing demand.

Sato Yosuke Ltd.
Ever since it was founded in 1860 in Inaniwa, Akita prefecture (now known as Inaniwa-cho, Yuzawa City, Akita pref.), Sato Yosuke Ltd. has done one thing and one thing only – making and selling its distinctive brand of Inaniwa udon, which are a traditional form of wheat-based noodles. Inaniwa udon together with Sanuki udon from Kagawa are considered two of the most prestigious types. Sato Yosuke Ltd. has long taken the lead in making Inaniwa udon, and the current chairman is the seventh to have succeeded to the name of Yosuke Sato. Sato Yosuke Ltd. attaches the utmost value to quality, and strives to ensure steadfast and reliable management rather than simply seeking rapid business expansion, such as by broadening the market.

Obata Shuzo
Obata Shuzo was founded in 1892, establishing its roots in Manotsuru, Sado City in Niigata Prefecture, and since then, the company has manufactured and sold Japanese sake utilizing the resources of Sado Island. The number of tourists visiting Sado Island where Obata Shuzo is located has been dwindling each year, and the island has been recently hit by a series of large-scale earthquakes. Furthermore, the volume of Japanese sake consumption in Japan has been declining year by year, and it has become necessary for the industry as a whole to develop a market framework for this commodity.

Inden-ya Uehara Yushichi Co., Ltd.
nden-ya is a well-established company that makes Koshu Inden products, and it was founded in 1582. The traditional techniques of Koshu Inden have been passed down in the Uehara family to the current President Shigeki Uehara from his distant ancestor Yushichi Uehara who invented them. Inden-ya manufactures and sells Koshu Inden products that are made from deerskin and lacquer. It is the oldest company dealing with Koshu Inden, which has been designated as a “traditional craft industry,” and its traditional techniques have been passed down since the Sengoku period.

toraya Confectionary Co., Ltd.
Toraya was established in the late Muromachi period, so it has been engaging in business since the reign of Emperor Go-Yozei (1586 to 1611). Toraya has prepared confectionaries, mochi rice cakes, and so on for various events of the imperial court, centering on successive emperors and other members of the imperial household. Its customer base has expanded along with the changing times to include not only imperial palaces, but also residences of princes, nobles, financial cliques, and so on, as well as general companies, schools, and the military.

Honbo Shuzo Co., Ltd.
“Currently, Hombo Shuzo has not developed a core brand”. Mr. Hombo believes that going forward the key will be to carry out product development utilizing Hombo Shuzo’s multiple hubs. The development of sake culture is said to go hand-in-hand the food culture of a country and its land. With the lifestyles of Japanese people changing remarkably, Mr. Hombo wonders what kind of sake Hombo Shuzo should develop and how to establish the company’s brand. The total number of members in the Hombo family has expanded, and now not all them were born and raised in Kagoshima. Mr. Hombo therefore also needs to consider who will inherit the business and in what format.

Elephant Design Co., Ltd.
On occasion, what we really want is not readily sold. Cuusoo.com (http://www.cuusoo.com) comes to your help at that point. It is a website run by elephant design where anybody can post their wishes and individual needs. Designers across the country gather around these “voices” to submit more concrete ideas on how to realize these wishes or needs, which are then discussed in more detail by supporting user communities. Manufacturers and sellers step up, and user ideas gradually turn into real products. The most important thing is to extract the true wishes and perspectives of both the customers and the producer. In order to do this, elephant design has been enthusiastic from its inception to maintain a system where the relationship between the two sides is very close.

Gala Inc. B
For an Online Community Company that Connects the World - Gala Inc. 2 Years Later.

EMOBILE Ltd. --2010--
In August 2010, Eric Gan, president of Emobile Ltd. attended the invester meeting reporting the 1st quarter results for fiscal 2010-2011. Since launching EMOBILE in March 2007, the number of service subscribers had increased to over 2,500,000 by end of June, 2010. The successful launch of the company has changed the position of EMOBILE from a newcomer in the Japanese mobile operator industry to the market leader by encompassing 65% of mobile data transmission service users in this country.

Gala Inc.
Gala Inc. has much expanded operations specializing in the Internet online community since being founded in 1993, with 2006 marking its “first year of effective globalization.” Establishing overseas subsidiaries and especially taking onboard the online game business led to sudden and rapid growth. As a result, after three years of global expansion of Gala’s organization and services, the company has now come to face the issue of what to put forward as its key resource for cementing its various branches into a growing and lasting whole.

eMobile, Ltd. -2008-
eMobile, a newcomer to the Japanese mobile broadband operator industry, had become one of its major mobile operators by increasing its subscriber number to over 600,000. All that, in approximately one year since launching the operation in March 2007! Having successfully started up eAccess, the largest wholesaler of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line [ADSL] in Japan, eMobile found itself obliged to meet high expectations both from investors and users.

INTEC
INTEC is an integrated IT service company based in Toyama City, Japan. Since its founding in 1964, INTEC has expanded its operations from calculation services to VAN and other communications services. After the collapse of the bubble economy, the company began R&D into new technologies and set up new businesses toward new internet age, to make reform as corporate culture. This case is to find what should and should not be changed, by discussing its regional and global aspect.

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