Mitsubishi

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The Mitsubishi Group (三菱グループ Mitsubishi Gurūpu?), Mitsubishi Group of Companies, or Mitsubishi Companies is a Japanese conglomerate consisting of a range of autonomous businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark and legacy. The Mitsubishi group of companies form a loose entity, the Mitsubishi Keiretsu, which is often referenced in Japanese and US media and official reports; in general these companies all descend from the zaibatsu of the same name. The top 25 companies are also members of the Mitsubishi Kin'yōkai, or "Friday Club", and meet monthly. The Mitsubishi.com Committee is meant to facilitate communication and access of the brand through a portal web site.[1]

Contents

History

The Mitsubishi company was first established as a shipping firm by Yatarō Iwasaki (1834–1885) in 1870. In 1873, its name was changed to Mitsubishi Shokai (三菱商会). The name Mitsubishi () consists of two parts: "mitsu" meaning "three" and "hishi" (which becomes "bishi" under rendaku) meaning "water caltrop" (also called "water chestnut"), and hence "rhombus", which is reflected in the company's famous logo. It is also translated as "three diamonds".[2]

Mitsubishi had been established in 1870, two years after the Meiji Restoration, with shipping as its core business. Its diversification was mostly into related fields. It entered into coal-mining to gain the coal needed for ships, bought a shipbuilding yard from the government to repair the ships it used, founded an iron mill to supply iron to the shipbuilding yard, started a marine insurance business to cater for its shipping business, and so forth. Later, the mangerial resources and technological capabilities acquired through the operation of shipbuilding were utilized to expand the business further into the manufacture of aircraft and equipment. Similarly, the experience of overseas shipping led the firm to enter into a trading business.[3]

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