2017 Volume 52 Issue 1 Pages 84-92
This paper discusses a distinguished entrepreneur, Gohei Tanabe the 12th, who came from Dosho-machi, Osaka, Japan. His efforts led to the establishment of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation. His activities regarding pharmaceutical trading and manufacturing, which were advanced compared to other medical merchants, are discussed while making comparisons with them. This paper also tries to clarify his source of pioneering spirit over the history of his life along with his management activities. After being introduced by H. Ahrens & Co., he started trading salicylic acid and established a stable marketing position with pharmaceutical companies. He intended to manufacture medical materials together with importing materials from western Europe. He finally succeeded in starting a pharmaceuticals manufacturing firm, the first of which was in Dosho-machi. The paper also explains that he started by importing chemical materials from western Europe, and then expanded activities to manufacturing pharmaceutical materials in his own company. He was involved in a joint-ventures that focused on quality management, Osaka Yakuhin Shiken Kaisha and Osaka Seiyaku Kabushiki Kaisha, which later merged with Dainihon Seiyaku Kabushiki Kaisha. He also founded a pasturing cattle business as a healthcare division. He was highly motivated and his leadership contributed to propelling the manufacturing of medical materials. After his brother died during an experiment, he had his own son inherit the name of his brother, and the company never stopped manufacturing pharmaceutical products. In view of the above discussions, this paper considers Gohei Tanabe the 12th to be the pioneer of Japanese pharmaceutical manufacturing. This paper focuses on his entrepreneurship, which enabled the company to evolve to into a research and development company throughout the Meiji and Taisho eras. His advanced achievements were viewed as a lighthouse for medical merchants who tried to become pharmaceutical manufacturers.