´´ Value Investing Japan

Friday, October 23, 2020

Procrastination: The Hidden Value of Delaying

The reason for me to write this little post, which I intended to do a long time ago and have successfully been avoiding for quite a while, is to make the case for procrastination when it comes to stock market investing.

People following a puritanical ideology would like to see procrastination right at the top of the seven deadly sins. But wrongly so! In some professional activities, like sports, design, stock market investing, to name just a few, it should be wholeheartedly embraced. Consciously procrastinating, and astutely combining the different forms, is an art and should strike you as an intelligent behavior.

In ancient times procrastination was highly esteemed. The wisest Greek and Roman leaders and philosophers were masters in playing pocket billiard. They would basically sit around all day long doing nothing apart from thinking and debating. Only when they truly had to would they move their bloomin’ arse.

Viewing procrastination as a sin is quite a new phenomenon coming up in the 17th century, a time the puritans gained the upper hand in society. One of their main advocates was Jonathan Edwards’s, who declaimed over and scared the hell out of procrastinators:
"Those who delay doing good works flatter themselves that they shall see another day, and then another, and trust to that, until finally most of them are swallowed up in hell, to lament their folly to all eternity, in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.” 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Yodogawa Steel Works (JP:5451): A J- Net Beauty with Loads of Hidden Assets

Company overview

Yodogawa Steel Works, Ltd. is an independent Japanese steelmaker located in Osaka. It mainly provides surface treated steel sheet. It is particularly strong in color steel sheet.

The Company operates in four business segments. The Steel Sheets-related segment manufactures and sells coated steel sheets, galvanized steel sheets and cold-rolled steel products. The Roll segment is engaged in the manufacture and sale of steel rolls, non-ferrous rolls, etc. The grating segment is engaged in the manufacture and sale of gratings. The Real Estate segment is engaged in the leasing and sale of real estate.

Most of its products are provided to corporate customers, such as building contractors and consumer electronics maker, but the company also handles household use storerooms, carports, and photovoltaic power generation, among other things, for general consumers.

It runs plants in Osaka, Kure, Ichikawa, Fukai and Izumiotsu. It started steel sheet sales through own sales offices. It also has a large overseas plant in Taiwan. The joint venture subsidiary, which operates the Taiwanese plant, is listed on the Taiwan Stock exchange. The company also set up local firms in Taiwan and China to produce and sell surface treated steel sheet.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

J-Links of Interest, Week 41 2020

Pac-Man: How a faceless character based on eating changed video game history by Russel Thomas (Japan Times)

The nationwide release of the arcade version of Pac-Man in July 1980 marked a pioneering moment in the history of video games, introducing a rare nonviolent character for players to control and sowing the seeds for a cultural and commercial legacy that continues to endure to this day.

What can we learn from 'Made in Japan'? by He Jun (Japan Times)

The Japan-South Korea trade friction revealed that South Korean companies, even though they have dominated the semiconductor market for many years, still need Japanese suppliers in the semiconductor industry. That means Japanese companies can easily exert pressure on the Korean giants. Has the world been underestimating Japan’s companies — not to mention the country’s economic strength and technological innovation?

'Pure Invention': How Japan's pop culture became the 'lingua franca' of the internet by Matt Schley (Japan Times)

Toys. Video games. Portable music players. Kawaii characters. Anime. When it comes to modern pop culture, we’ve all turned Japanese.


It's hard to imagine a world without Pac-Man.. That yellow pellet eating machine has burned himself into the pop-culture consciousness in a way few fictional characters have. From the initial video game that ate up as many quarters as the titular hero ate cherries, to cartoons, shirts, toys, and the endless supply of merchandise. The game even had a song that reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982. How bonkers is that?

How Japan’s global image morphed from military empire to eccentric pop-culture superpower by Marc Bain (Quartz)

In just a few decades, Japan’s global image has changed radically, especially in the West. Particularly in America, which has had a close and complex relationship with Japan since World War II, this image has evolved from fearsome enemy to producer of cheap cars and gadgets to, finally, whimsical creative fantasy factory.

From Astro Boy to Gundam to Ultraman, how Bandai became Japan’s top toy company by Julian Ryal (South China Morning Post)

Now 32 years old, Sho Ueda remembers the thrill he felt as a nine-year-old when his father bought him his first model from the Mobile Suit Gundam anime series. With massive red-and-white shoulder protectors, powerful robotic legs and headgear reminiscent of a samurai warrior’s helmet, Ueda says he was hooked after building his first “Burning Gundam” model.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Ryoyo Electro (JP:8068): Anatomy of a Hostile Takeover Battle that Has Gone Awry


The stock was first mentioned on the blog in March 2012 at a price of 944 Yen as a deep value idea.

Little did I know that this simple deep value investment would turn out being a full- blown fight over corporate control between two Japanese companies.

On August 31st I got a poisoned birthday present. Ryoyo announced that it would buy back roughly 27% of its shares at 2’990 Yen via a Tender Offer. The repurchase amount is ¥22 billion, exactly the entire cash at hand as of Q2 2020.

The Journey

The investment faced a rocky start, with huge price swings in 2012- Volatility abated a little in 2013, but the stock was not really moving, and the yen depreciation severely depressed the performance in Euro terms.