Taikichiro Mori was one of the famous entrepreneurs who found enormous wealth in real estate. He was born on March 1 in the year 1904 in Tokyo, Japan. According to Forbes magazine, he was the world’s richest person in 1991 and 1992.
Taikichiro was the son of a wealthy landlord. He attended the Tokyo College of Commerce (now Hitotsubashi University) and graduated in 1928. He became a college instructor and after the Second World War, he transferred to Yokohama City University where he taught trade theory. From 1954 until his retirement in 1959, he was the dean of the College of Commerce.
In 1959, Taikichiro set up Mori Building Company after his father passed away. The company took over the management of the two buildings his father left behind. Under his leadership, the company grew to become one of the largest landlords in Tokyo. At that time, Japan’s economy was enjoying double-digit growth and Tokyo was expanding tremendously. Many foreign companies, anxious to get a slice of the Japanese market, set up shops in the big city.
The economist Taikichiro positioned his company to take advantage of redevelopment plans. He bought areas that were once residential lots with wooden housing and built high-rise residential and commercial complexes. Other developers followed or copied his strategy. Soon, the building frenzy led to wild price increases that eventually made Central Tokyo the most expensive real estate in the world.
When the real estate bubble burst in the early 1990s, Taikichiro’s company lost as much as $2 billion in asset value. The long price decline ensued contributing to the so-called Japan’s lost decade.
Taikichiro died in 1993 at the age of 88. He had three children with wife Hana.