Career history: Born in Iwate Prefecture (Japan) on February 4, 1943. Graduated from Iwate Prefectural Morioka Technical High School in March 1961. After working as a jazz musician (drummer), opened “Hamburger Steak and Salad Restaurant: Bell” in Morioka City in December 1968. Established a “Hamburger steak specialty” type of restaurant business. In December 1976 founded “Cowbell Company” and became President and CEO. In May 1987, the company’s name was changed to “Aleph Inc.” In 1994, received the Agricultural Production Cooperation Section’s Award (a Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Award) from the Japanese government due to excellence in the new food business operation, followed by the Environmental Friendliness Section’s Award (a Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Award) in 2004. Received a certificate of gratitude from the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 2004 for the contribution to the development of the food service industry by constantly pursuing “food safety and security” from the viewpoint of consumers. In 2005, he was awarded the Hokkaido Regional Cultural Merits. Also, in 2006, he was awarded the Energy Saving Division’s Encouragement Prize at the Hokkaido Energy Saving & New Energy Promotion Awards. In addition, out of a belief that symbiosis with the natural environment is indispensable to “food safety and security,” he has become deeply involved in environmental issues, such as biodiversity, and has been practicing conservation of resource and energy ahead of other companies, including self-development of environmental technologies. As of March 2007, the number of restaurants is 303 (including franchisee restaurants), annual sales are 38.4 billion yen (as of the end of March 2007) and the number of regular employees is 702.
In 2002, the Government of Nanjian Yi Autonomous County, Yunnan Province (China) commended him as an honorary citizen for providing cooperation in Yunnan University’s academic surveys and financial assistance for its bird protection activities. He also delivers many lectures on business ethics and moral, and continues dialogues with prominent people in the world who are active in environmental, artistic and other fields.
Official positions: 1995–2003: Member of the Hokkaido Agriculture and Rural Area Promotion Council; 1997–2004: Vice President of the Japan Food Service Association (* 2006, July: Resigned from the Japan Food Service Association); 2004: Member of the “Green Power Product Supplier Council,” for Ministry of Economy, Trade and Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, 2006: Selected as a member of the Hokkaido Production & Consumption Collaboration Citizens’ Council.