S. Kawasaki, a famous ship-builder in Meiji era, founded the Tsukiji Shipyard (Tokyo) in 1827, for which he borrowed 30 thousands yen from the Ministry of finance. Masayoshi Matsukata, a chief officer in the Ministry of Finance, appointed Kawasaki to the privileged dealer of the sugar collected from Ryukyu Islands as tax. He could amass a great amount of commission in this sugar business and poured it to fill the deficit of his Tokyo and Kobe shipyards. He also managed to operate his business diversified into shipping, ships fittings, cotton spinning, machine-works and trading. Kawasaki bought the government shipyard in Kobe, and founded the Kawasaki Shipyard in 1887. But he suffered from heavy illness and retired from the presidency in 1896 when his company was reorganized into joint-stock company. After the retirement, Kawasaki bought a good deal of stocks of other companies, founded Kobe Kawasaki Bank in 1905, and also bought rice fields in Korea and forests in Miyazaki Pref., becoming a great land-owner around 1910. When he died in 1912, he thus left his private properties of about 5 millions yen, on the basis of which Kawasaki Sohonten (a stock-holding company) was founded in 1920, and the Kawasaki could developed as a modern zaibatsu fairly diversified into shipbuilding, shipping and aircraft manufacturing.
The Crawshays, a famous iron-maker family in South Wales, became inactive in the management of their iron-works in the middle of the 19th century. On the contrary, Crawshay (William II) rapidly increased his investment in securities such as Consols and domestic and foreign railway bonds, becoming in 1867 the greatest government stock holder in Great Britain. Why happened such a transition from industrial investment to investment in securities since 1850's? The general condition of Crawshay's business was very sound in 1850's. Some unfavourable factors, however, were forecast in the future of their business: first, the decline of production of iron ore in South Wales, a drastic change of the products from wrought iron to steel and the development of labour movement. In addition to these external factors, there was an unfavourable circumstance in Crawshay family itself: the lack of successor's talent for management. The reasons above mentioned seem to have been the key factors for the change from an ironmaster to a rentier. Crawshay thus suffered a great loss in iron-making in 1870's and eventually closed the iron-works. On the other hand, Crawshay's securities which amounted to over one million pounds brought the family tens of thousands pounds return a year. This article compares also Crawshay with the Dowlais Iron Company, and explains the difference in investment activity between the two rivals.