The Brothers: The Hidden World of Japan's Richest Family

The Brothers: The Hidden World of Japan's Richest Family

by Lesley Downer
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Hardcover(1st U.S. ed)

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The Brothers: The Hidden World of Japan's Richest Family by Lesley Downer

The epic, untold story of the men behind Japan's greatest business dynasty, and their rise from obscurity to extreme wealth and power, The Brothers recounts the public and private lives of the Tsutsumi family, who are to Japan what the Rockefellers or the Gettys are to the West.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679425540
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/18/1995
Edition description: 1st U.S. ed
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 6.65(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.41(d)

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Brothers: The Hidden World of Japan's Richest Family 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Toodles4 More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't say this book is either compelling or great, but it certainly is interesting if you are at all intrigued about international business and how it is handled in Japan. The Tsutsumi brothers are part of a dynasty begun by their very successful, ruthless father who did his best to train his sons to carry on in his image. That involved, in the Japanese way, wives, mistresses, and mingled families. In general, I found the book very repetitious and unnecessarily long. It would have read better and been less confusing, in my opinion, if the author had simply followed through with each character chronologically. He obviously did a lot of time-consuming research but following all that, the book itself seems thrown together with much less care. I learned a lot about pre- ad post-war Japan, customs, government and business. I am familiar with the Prince Hotel in one city and had no idea of its origins. I had no idea about the Olympic incidents with the Spaniard Samaranch and bringing the Olympics to Nagano. It was interesting to see how Japan adopted baseball and adapted to ice hockey through this family. However, reading about the Tsutsumi family itself, the parts that weren't conjecture, was like leafing through a rather smutty low-class newspaper. Brothers Seiji and Yoshiaki were fascinating men, no doubt, who didn't get along with each other.In spite of all the detail about them we come away from the book feeling we never knew them at all. Perhaps that is really what they were like and because of their reluctance to 'go public' with the press, we have to be satisfied with a half-baked version of their personalities. By the time I realized that I really didn't care too much about the brothers or what happened to their business, I had invested too much time and energy into reading the book and felt compelled to finish it. Too bad the book was published around 1994, before Yoshiaki was convicted of violation of securities trading, and his brother Seiji died in 2013. The book is screaming for a conclusion.