About Our Founder Tokushichi Nomura | 12. Research Department Enhanced

Series of advertisements

Upon his return to Japan, Tokushichi immediately translated the lessons of his recent experiences into positive action. His first step was to restructure and expand the research department, dividing it into four sections: Research, Statistics, Editing, and Translation. The establishment of the translation section was motivated by Tokushichi's desire to become involved in the foreign currency-denominated public bond business. The funding demands created by the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 had led the Japanese government to float large public bond issues. The attraction of lower interest rates overseas and the need to increase foreign currency reserves motivated the government to float a large proportion of these bonds on foreign markets. For Nomura Shoten to become involved in the trading of such bonds, it was necessary to have personnel who could communicate in English. Tokushichi was laying the groundwork for future developments.

Tokushichi lost no time in informing the public of the progressive moves the firm was making. He announced the implementation of his plans in the Osaka Nomura Business News and also placed daily advertisements in Japan's leading national newspapers, the Mainichi and the Asahi. One associate later commented: "At the time, Nomura Shoten must have spent about ¥10,000 a month just on advertisements in the Mainichi and the Asahi. Seventy-five years ago, ¥10,000 a month was an investment only a truly committed individual would make." Tokushichi was constantly concerned to familiarize the public with the stock market, always stressing the long-term potential rather than the chances of quick gains by speculation. Of course, this tied in with the publicizing of Nomura Shoten's research department.

Ever alive to the possibility of stealing a march on the competition, Tokushichi inserted his advertisements in the Sunday editions, too. This had never been done before, and the ensuing comment again serves to promote the name of Nomura. Tokushichi's recognition of the power of advertising in the modern world, and his finesse in incorporating it into his basic operating policy, illustrate his natural penchant for pursuing the original, not for its own sake, but for sound and progressive commercial reasons. The exploitation of the media and the strengthening of the firm's research department later came together in the publication of Japan's first stock market yearbook. According to Washio Shibayama, former managing director of Nomura & Co., "Nomura was the first to publish pamphlets about securities, and Diamond and the other securities industry magazines simply copied them. In any case, Nomura was the first to use magazines and other publications to sell stock, and they gained excellent results from it."

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