|In 1937, Saburo Horiguchi was married to Teruko Kobayashi, the daughter
of Kichitaro Kobayashi.
At mid-day on August 15, 1945, many Japanese experienced two new
things for the first time in their lives.
first was to hear the Emperor's voice on the radio. Before the war,
many people believed the Emperor to be a "living god",
and that their eyes would be blinded if they looked at him directly.
Not only were they surprised that the Emperor was talking to the
people directly, but the content of the Emperor's message, via the
poor quality, noisy radio, threw them into confusion. The war over,
and Japan was defeated.
What surprised the citizens in the Emperor's message was not only
the defeat in war, but that great changes would be made in the Japan
that would come in the future. For the people to continue to struggle
to survive today as yesterday seemed preposterously difficult. Ahead
of them were fields burned to the ground, and life lacking even
food to eat.
All of the cities of Japan had suffered devastating damage from
air raids and bombardment during the war. War orphans were lost
in the streets and trains were full of people searching the region
for food every day.
However, even amid this confusion, determined progress on the road
to resuscitation and reconstruction began.
When all of Japan was in upheaval, Kobayashi Daiyakubo began an
unprecedented program of expansion un-imaginable considering its
earlier conservative character. In a time when no one could embark
on new ventures, Kobayashi Daiyakubo started many of the businesses
which became the foundation of post-war prosperity.
The one who led Kobayashi Daiyakubo in this expansion was the successor
of Kichitaro Kobayashi, Saburo Kobayashi. At the end of the war
in 1945, Saburo was in the prime of his life.
For Saburo, this time in which everyone had lost sight of their
goals and were undecided as to what to do presented once-in-a-lifetime
opportunities. The war was over, and Japan was at peace. Creating
more profits was a great service to society, so there was freedom
to carry out business without restrictions.
To realize his grand plan, Saburo used not only his existing staff,
but he brought in excellent talent one after another from outside.
There were people from many fields with good education and who had
held important positions in their previous employment. There was
never a more encouraging time to recruit so many excellent and talented
Saburo devoted himself to firm and pro-active management. Even
for policies considered to be risky, his decisions were carried
out even without proof. At Kobayashi Daiyakubo, leading his fearless
troops, Saburo launched his management strategies at full power.