´´ Value Investing Japan

Friday, July 24, 2020

'Gama- Gaeru': The Most Celebrated Ceramic Toad in Stockmarket History

This little post will neatly encapsulate the popular delusions and sheer madness of crowds brought forth by the Japanese stock market bubble of the late 1980’s.

The genesis of this story lies on the fourth floor of an awfully exclusive Ryotei restaurant owned by Nui Onoue in Osaka, a grandmotherly lady in her 60’s. She was a fervent disciple of several bizarre and mystic religions and rituals who, during the go- go years of Japan’s stock market bubble, would amass a fortune and at the pivot point of her divine undertakings would become the wealthiest woman in Japan. 

Within Osaka, the toad is known as “Gama-Gaeru” or "toad-frog". Especially among Osaka's entrepreneurial business elite it is regarded as a minor deity, which possesses a good luck charm that attracts good fortunes to its owner. 

But Ms. Onoue’s toad was one of a kind, an amphibian Warren Buffett. It was incredibly successful in its role as a money magnet and at the peak of this grotesque story the toad would control a 20bn US Dollar stock portfolio.

In the process of the miraculous wealth accumulation Ms. Onoue, who later would be known within Japan as the “dark lady from Osaka”, would become the largest individual shareholder in three of the world’s biggest companies.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

J- Links of Interest- Week 28, 2020


Capitalism that work — Lessons from Japan | Jesper Koll | TEDxTokyo

This talk shares how Japan continues to be a leading country and it's potential to have a bright future from the lens of an economist. Jesper Koll has been researching and investing in Japan since he became a resident in 1985. He has been the head of research and chief strategist for major US investment banks and currently serves as senior advisor to several Japanese and global corporations, investors, This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

The Small Giant Tree-Ring Management

Deep in the woodlands of the city of Ina in Nagano Prefecture is a company named Ina Food Industry Co., Ltd. with 531 employees that makes and sells products using the gelling agent agar. Despite its relatively small size compared to food industry powerhouses, the company hosts a never-ending stream of highly prominent visitors, including management teams from Toyota Motor Corporation and other global companies and the Governor of the Bank of Japan.

Ootoya eateries face 7.1bn yen takeover bid by cost-cutting peer

Japanese restaurant operator Colowide on Friday will launch a tender offer on Ootoya Holdings, after its push to cut its compatriot's costs and streamline operations was rejected at last month's shareholders meeting, the company announced on Thursday.


Japanese trading house Itochu announced on Wednesday it will take full ownership of the FamilyMart convenience store chain, raising its stake from just over 50% through a tender offer.

Friday, June 26, 2020

J- Vid of Interest: - The Beginnings of Japan's Robot Revolution

Will Japans automated industry wipe out the need for humans in the work place. 'TV Eye investigates the changing face of the Japanese worker.
First Shown: 11/02/1982



Friday, May 8, 2020

The Tron Project: How Japan Almost Ruled IT


At a chilly winter day in 1989 the Japanese flabbergasted the world of tech. They presented a house, tucked away in one of Tokyo’s most fashionable neighborhoods, which was able to think, sense and act on its own. It linked millions of microprocessors in consumer appliances, business machines and telecommunication networks in one giant, cooperative web. 

The Tron House


The house would know when to open the windows, air-condition the room and water the plants. It would flush the toilet, flip the faucet and air-dry your hands. When the phone rang, it muted the stereo. If the homeowner wanted to cook a French meal, it would set the correct oven temperature, after presenting a recipe and how to prepare the meal on a kitchen monitor. All without manual human interaction.