This article aims at analyzing the business activities of OGUMA Koichiro, one of the famous wealthy men of Hakodate, Hokkaido, from the late Meiji to the World War I era. Oguma attained a resounding success by investing in fishing grounds during the Russo-Japanese War. With his fishing and other business successes, he became one of the most prosperous men in Hokkaido. Thereafter, his main business activities lay in the fishing business. During World War I, he again enjoyed great success in speculating in the shipping business, and used profits from that speculation to contribute to the welfare of his beloved Hakodate. He donated part of his profits to the Hakodate association for Education and built warehouses, an unprofitable business in the region, which Hakodate needed. After the 1920 Crisis, Oguma invested in unprofitable regional enterprises and became the president of a regional bank in Hakodate to contribute to the restoration of Hakodate local economy. However, in terms of business, he gradually departed from Hakodate. And in the middle of the 1920s, his contribution to the welfare of Hakodate began to merge with his non-business activities.
The fluctuation of the rate between gold and silver has been considered as favorable for merchants in the Edo period because they could take advantage of the fluctuation, speculate, and make much money. But actually, the official parity rate between gold and silver was declared in 1700 because dealers who purchased kimono in Kyoto and sold them in Edo pleaded with the Tokugawa Bakufu to establish an official rate. Using materials written by Mitsui Echigoya or Mitsui Hondana from 1818 to 1820, this article explains why the official parity rate was in favor of the dealers. In this period, the value of silver, which was used mainly in western Japan, rose, causing the price of products bought in Kyoto to rise in Edo. But the competition between dealers in kimono was so harsh that they could not raise the price of kimono high enough to make up for the rise of silver. And the sale of kimono bought in Kyoto decreased in comparison to those of kimono bought in the Kanto area. To hedge these risks in 1720, dealers in kimono in Edo asked their counterparts in Osaka to conclude an agreement to fix the value of gold privately, because the official parity rate was not followed by most people. And also dealers in kimono could not make much money by speculating in gold and silver, because they could not speculate as they wished, though they obtained much accurate information on the fluctuation before ordinary people did. They instead purchased a lot of kimono by paying in gold instead of buying silver.
This paper analyzes the professionalization of the business appraisal service in the United States. As the number of mergers and acquisitions increased in the United States, the need for business valuation increased. The business appraisal service is used to, for example, mitigate conflict in selling price between the acquirer and the acquiree. The business appraisal service gradually grew after the 1950s and developed extensively in the 1980s. The growth of private company acquisitions and divestitures in the 1980s promoted its development. The main actors who provided business appraisal services were asset appraisers and accountants. They established the status as a profession after the Great Depression. Asset appraisers mainly appraised tangible property, especially machines, for insurance or tax purposes. Accountants reported and analyzed corporate financial data. Supplying business appraisal services and appraising expected corporate value, they changed their main technique from “retrospective” or “fact-finding” types to “prospective” or “forecasting.” As the business appraisal industry grew, many problems occurred due to the lack of appraisal skills or fraud. Four professional associations set up new licenses for business appraisers in order to provide appropriate appraisal services. In 1978, Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA) issued a license, the first in the United States, for appraisers specializing in private companies. Recently, confronted with member-seeking competition from other professional associations, such as IBA and other organizations, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants also issued a license for business appraisers in 1997. These associations examine their members' appraisal abilities, impose a code of ethics on their members, and provide training programs for their members with the intention of improving the quality of the business appraisal service.