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Everything Starts with Finance
ORIX Evolves by Creating Businesses
Looking Back at the Birth of ORIX on its 50th Anniversary PART 1
1 "Welcome ‘Orient Sauce Co., Ltd.’ and Party"
-Starting with an Explanation of Leases-

1964, ORIX Established by Three Trading Companies and Five Banks

The building where Head Office was located

ORIX (then Orient Leasing Co., Ltd.) was established fifty years ago on April 17, 1964, the year of the Tokyo Olympics, by three trading companies and five banks.

It was also in 1964 that the Shinkansen "bullet train" was introduced and Tokyo’s Shuto Expressway opened. Japan’s economy was still experiencing a period of high average annual growth over 10% that had begun in 1955. This was also the year when Hayakawa Electric Co., Ltd. (later to become Sharp Corporation) launched its CS-10A electronic desktop calculator, which weighed 25 kg. With a high price tag of ¥535,000, the calculator was a heavy burden on companies in terms of capital expenditure.

A History of Being Mistaken for a Sauce or Whiskey Company

At the time, the lease business was a growth industry in the U.S. As Japan continued to embrace automation, trading companies, which were ORIX’s shareholders, saw a bright future for leasing in Japan, hoping that the trend would strengthen sales in their machinery divisions.
At the time of its establishment, ORIX had thirteen employees. This elite group was excited at the challenge of creating a new business. However, the concept of "leasing" was relatively unknown in Japan at the time.
When the employees took a trip together, they would find that the inns where they stayed had booked them as "Orient Sauce Co., Ltd. and party," having mistaken the word "lease" for "sauce," which looks similar in Japanese, or as "Orien Tory’s Co., Ltd." mistaking them for a whiskey company due to the similar sound of the "Tory’s" whiskey brand.

Acquiring Knowledge about Leasing through Study Sessions

The only person in ORIX who fully understood leasing was a young employee by the name of Miyauchi who had been trained in a U.S. leasing company. Today he serves as ORIX’s Senior Chairman. The company would have to begin by conducting in-house study-sessions.

Even when the concept of leasing was understood, in the Japanese market where people attached great value to ownership, there was still a strong psychological resistance to leasing with its notion of borrowing items to use them.

Starting from PR Activities to Promote Framework of Leasing

"If you want to catch fishes, we will lease you a fishing vessel."
"Leasing is the new management strategy that everyone is talking about."
"Outdated equipment and machinery are an embarrassment to a company."

At the time, most of our PR activities were targeted at promoting familiarity with the leasing system, rather than acquiring lease contracts per se. Such was the environment in which ORIX made its start 50 years ago.

Advertising from the early days

A company brochure from the early days

Download Corporate Information

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