More than a 125 years ago, three steamers were rented by the founder of the company, Yataro Iwasaki, and with these he started the Tsukumo Shokai Shipping Co. In the ensuing years the company steadily expanded, and in 1874 the original name was changed to Mitsubishi Steamship Co. At that point in time the fleet already counted more than 30 ships.
Subsequent steps in the development were the purchase of among other things - coal mines, the establishment of a trading co. and the taking of interests in the Nagasaki shipyard. In 1898 this shipyard built the largest ship ever built to date in any Asian country and with that, right away made Japan an important nation in the industrial world.
In 1890 the then president, Yanosuke Iwasaki bought some 35 hectares of "worthless swampland" close to the imperial palace from the Japanese Government, which at that moment needed a financial injection, paying the equivalent of about 1 billion dollars for it. Currently that area is the most important and prestigious Marunouchi business district of Tokyo, worth many billions of US dollars.
Logo The well-known trade mark (three diamonds in the shape of a triangle) is based on the family coat of arms of the founder and means "Three Diamonds" (Mitsu = 3, Bishi = stone/diamond).
Around the turn of the century and the beginning of the 20th century, important industries were established, among which the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co, Mitsubishi Internal combustion engine Cy, Mitsubishi Oil Cy and, in 1921, Mitsubishi Electric.
Mitsubishi developed into a very large family owned company, which up to the end of the second World War was still run by one family. The last president was Koyata Iwasaki, who died in 1945. After that, de-centralisation and a drastic re-organisation were effected.
Thus various independent companies came into being, from which in the course of time 44 separate large companies evolved. Only 20 thereof also bear the name 'Mitsubishi', for example the Mitsubishi bank, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, Mitsubishi Motors and last but not least Mitsubishi Electric. Among the remaining 24 are companies such as: Nikon Cameras, Kirin Breweries, Nippon Yusen Kaisha Shipping Co, Asahi Glass, Kobe Paper Works and Tokyo Marine Insurances.
Mitsubishi Electric commenced business operations in the UK in 1972. In 1996 Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Japan and acquired Mitsubishi Electric's European sales and marketing businesses from other Mitsubishi Electric group companies: as part of that acquisition the UK branch of Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. was established in April 1996 to operate our UK sales and marketing activities.