Hirotake Yano: Founder of Daiso, Japan's 100-Yen Shop Pioneer

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Hirotake Yano: Founder of Daiso, Japan's 100-Yen Shop Pioneer

Hirotake Yano, the founder of Daiso Industries Co., Japan's pioneering and leading 100-yen shop chain, passed away on February 12 due to cardiac failure. A solemn funeral gathering was held, attended by close family members. A farewell ceremony honoring his memory will be held at a later date, allowing friends and colleagues to pay their respects.

Born during the tumultuous years of World War II to Japanese parents residing in China, Yano returned to his homeland after the war's end. His educational journey culminated in a degree from the esteemed Faculty of Science and Engineering at Tokyo's Chuo University. Driven by entrepreneurial spirit, he established a family business in 1972, initially operating a traveling shop offering a diverse range of household goods.

A pivotal moment occurred in 1977 when the business was formally incorporated under the name Daiso Industries Co. Ten years later, in 1987, Daiso debuted its revolutionary 100-yen shop business model, offering a wide assortment of items at a fixed low price. This innovative approach met with immense success, and in 1991, the company opened its first directly managed permanent store in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture.

Daiso's reputation soared as it expanded its offerings and established a loyal customer base. In 2001, the company ventured beyond Japan's borders, opening its first overseas outlet in Taiwan. Yano gracefully stepped down as president in 2018, entrusting the leadership to his son, Seiji, while continuing to serve as chairman until the following year.

Today, Daiso boasts an extensive global presence with 4,360 outlets in Japan and an additional 990 spread across 25 countries and regions, operating under three distinct brands. The company's impressive financial performance is evident in its annual sales of 589.1 billion yen ($3.91 billion) as of the fiscal year ending February 2023.