Tadashi Yanai

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Tadashi Yanai
Born (1949-02-07) 7 February 1949 (age 67)
Residence Tokyo, Japan
Nationality Japanese
Education Bachelor of arts\science in economics & politics
Alma mater Waseda University
Net worth US$19.3 billion (January 2016)[1]
Children Kazumi Yanai
Koji Yanai
Parent(s) Kanichi Yanai
Hisako Mori Yanai

Tadashi Yanai (柳井 正 Yanai Tadashi?, born February 7, 1949) is a Japanese businessman, the founder and president of Fast Retailing, of which Uniqlo (ユニクロ, "unique clothing") is a subsidiary. He is routinely ranked as one of the richest men in Japan, and in January 2014 was ranked 35th richest in the world according to Bloomberg, making him the richest man in Japan with an estimated net worth of US$19.9 billion in 2009[2][3] and US$17.6 billion in 2014.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Yanai attended Ube High School and later Waseda University, graduating in 1971 with a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Politics.[5]


In 1971, Yanai started in business by selling kitchenware and men’s clothing at a Jusco supermarket.[4] After a year at Jusco, he quit and joined his father’s roadside tailor shop.[4] Yanai opened his first Uniqlo store in Hiroshima in 1984,[5] and changed the name of his father’s company Ogori Shoji to Fast Retailing in 1991.[4] He has stated: "I might look successful but I've made many mistakes. People take their failures too seriously. You have to be positive and believe you will find success next time."[6]

Published works[edit]

  • Throw Away Your Success in a Day 2009

Awards and honours[edit]

  • Yanai won the International Retailer of Year award for 2010 from the National Retail Federation in US. He was the fourth Japanese national to win it, and the first since 1998, when it was won by Masatoshi Ito, owner and honorary chairman of the Ito Yokado retailing group. He was also chosen as best company president in a survey of Japanese corporate executives by Sanno Institute of Management in 2008 and 2009.[7]
  • In 2012 he was included in the 50 Most Influential list of Bloomberg Markets Magazine.


In March 2011, Yanai donated 1 billion yen to victims of the 2011 Sendai earthquake.[8]

Personal life[edit]

He is the son of Kanichi Yanai and Hisako Mori Yanai. Yanai is married and has two sons, Kazumi Yanai and Koji Yanai, and lives in Tokyo.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Tadashi Yanai". Forbes. Retrieved 2 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Tabuchi, Hiroko (2009-10-01). "Chinese Economic Juggernaut Is Gaining on Japan". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  3. ^ "The World's Billionaires". Forbes. 2009-03-11. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Uniqlo Billionaire’s Drive for Global Crown Fuels J.Crew Talks". Bloomberg. 2 March 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Fast Retailing Lives Up to Name With Global Gains". Forbes. 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  6. ^ Monocle magazine, April 2009
  7. ^ Kensuke Kojima (2011). Uniqlo Syndrome. Toyo Keizai Shinpo Sha. ISBN 4-492-76191-8 Tenkai Japan. ASIN: B004PYDPOK.
  8. ^ "Uniqlo operator to donate 1.4 billion yen to quake victims". Mainichi Shinbun. 2011-03-15. Retrieved 2011-03-16.