Jinju Seimei Hoken K.K. (Jinju Life Insurance Co.), Tokyo, c. 1920.



1920sCommerceModernization
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“The origin of [the Jinju Life Insurance Co.] dates back to September 28, 1894, when a limited partner-ship was formed by Count N. Matsudaira, Viscount Y. Toda, Messrs. T. Nishimura, R. Minomura, S. Imamura, I. Tojo, K. Fukiji, Baron S. Tsuji and others. Business was opened on October 5, under the presidency of Baron S. Tsuji.

“After some years of operation the company was taken over by Mr. D. Shimogou, a wealthy merchant, and in December of 1915 it was reorganised as a joint-stock company with a capital of Yen 1,000,000.

“By a sound and conservative policy the business has shown a steady improvement, and the credit and reputation of the Jinju Life Insurance Co., Ltd., have spread throughout the country. At the conclusion of 1916 the insurance in force was over Yen 40,000,000, and the various reserve funds stood at some Yen 7,500,000. The minimum amount of a policy issued by the company is Yen 300, and the maximum Yen 30,000. The premium in any class of insurance is the lowest that can possibly be charged.

“In 1909 the company inaugurated the system of participation in profits for policy-holders to the amount of Yen 500, provided they have maintained their insurance for a period of five years. The bonus for profits is allotted every five years. In many directions this company has shown itself progressive, adopting new and sound ideas to give the policy-holders the fullest benefits.

“The principal official of the Jinju Life Insurance Co., Ltd., [is] President, Mr. Denbei Shimogou … The head office of the company is at No. 3, l-chome, Uchisaiwaicho, Kojimachi-ku, Tokyo. There are branches and agencies throughout the Empire of Japan.”

Present-day Impressions of Japan, compiled by W.H. Morton-Cameron, 1919

Jinju Life Insurance Co., Tokyo, c. 1920, after the firm, founded in 1894, was reorganized as a joint-stock corporation [kabushiki kaisha]. Photo insets: The company headquarters (center) at Uchisaiwaicho near the Imperial Hotel and Hibiya Park in what was then Kojimachi Ward (now Chiyoda Ward); President Shimogo Dembei, ex-member House of Peers (upper right); Managing Director Shimogo T. (lower left)

See also:
Dai-ichi Sogo Building, Kyobashi, c. 1920.
Meiji Mutual Life Insurance Co. Building, Marunouchi, c. 1946.

“Prior to 1868, life insurance in Japan was virtually non-existent. There were some forms of mutual assistance in use, but they were very primitive and not general available.

“The first private Japanese insurance company [Meiji Insurance Company] was established in 1881, and since then the development of the life insurance business has paralleled the development of Japan’s commerce and industry.

“Today [1975], there are 21 private life insurance companies in Japan, of which 17 are mutual companies, and four are joint-stock companies. Life insurance is also available through the post office and through membership in various agricultural cooperatives … In terms of total life insurance in force, Japan has ranked second in the world since 1966.”

“The Japanese Life Insurance Market – Opening to Foreign Insurers – a Japanese View”, by Toshiro Nishimura, The Forum (of the American Bar Association), Spring 1975

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