Wasabi Stories vol.138: “A great man is modest”


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“A great man is modest”

Today’s story-teller is Hirofumi Yano, the president of Daiso Sangyo Corporation, the chain of 100-yen shops.

Yano likes celebrities and always asks them to pose for photos with him.

Yano says that he learns a lot from them. One of the people who gave him a strong impression was [W:Hiroaki Shukuzawa], a former coach of the Japanese national rugby team.



Yano first met Shukuzawa when he was an executive director of a corporate sales department at one of Japan’s megabanks about five years ago.

Yano looks back on that time and says, “He never waffled. He was such a successful man: a rugby genius and an executive of a megabank, but he was very modest and thoughtful. He was not arrogant at all. That is why I took an immediate shine to him.”


Shukuzawa was a good listener, too. He took the role of listener during dinner when they went to Yano’s favorite Japanese izakaya once.

He silently grinned at Yano’s jokes in a sympathetic way. It gave Yano the impression that he was a very generous person.

One time, at a party, when Yano grabbed Shukuzawa in a full-nelson as a joke at a party, he was amazed by the girth of Shukukzawa’s chest and back.


Yano says, “Shukuzawa’s height was about 160cm, about the same as mine, but he was a lot bigger than me. He was so well-built. I think his short stature made him try extra hard to build up his body to compete against the giant rugby players of the world. I felt it all in his back.”


Shukuzawa’s future looked bright. However, sadly, he collapsed from a heart attack during a mountain climbing and passed away in June, 2006.

Shukuzawa was only 55 years old. Yano sadly mourns his untimely death.


The NIKKEI 11/20/2009 by Hirofumi Yano (President of Daiso Sangyo)


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