Origins of Mitsubishi

The name "Mitsubishi" refers to the famous three-diamond emblem. "Mitsubishi" is a combination of the words mitsu (=three) and hishi (=water chestnut). In Japanese, this word has been traditionally used to denote a rhombus or diamond.

In 1870, Yataro Iwasaki established a transport company
In 1870, Yataro Iwasaki established a transport company

Japanese often bend the "h" sound to a "b" sound when it occurs in the middle of a word. Yataro Iwasaki, the founder of the old Mitsubishi organisation, chose the three-diamond mark as the emblem for his company as a combination between the three-leaved crest of the Tosa-Clan, Yataro's first employer, and the three stacked rhombuses, the coat of arms of the Iwasaki-family

Around 1870, Yataro Iwasaki, the founder of the company, leased three steamships and therewith founded a transport company. In the following years the company steadily expanded to a fleet of more than 30 ships. This is how Mitsubishi established a firm base in the modern shipping industry. In addition to its maritime business, Mitsubishi diversified into a number of different fields of industry. The first was coal mining, initiated in 1881 with the purchase of the Takashima Coal Mine. The other was shipbuilding, started in 1884 with the rental of the government-owned Nagasaki Shipyard. These two enterprises were to form the core of the new Mitsubishi company.

The company's second president, Yanosuke Iwasaki, changed the corporate name from Mitsubishi Mail Steamship Company to Mitsubishi Company, and devoted himself to the organization's reconstruction, concentrating on its two new businesses. Further presidents of the Iwasaki family followed the example of their predecessors and restructured the Mitsubishi organization, setting up divisions in Metal Mining, Coal Mining, Shipbuilding & Engineering, Banking, Trading and Estate.

Mitsubishi developed into a very large family-owned company with more than 70 enterprises. To coordinate the operations of his growing family of companies, the Mitsubishi Kyogikai ("Top Management Meeting") was established in 1937. Although this committee served as an important forum, the true unifier among the companies was the Mitsubishi management philosophy which is based on three fundamental principles of business: Corporate responsibility to society, integrity and fairness, international understanding through trade.

The Mitsubishi holding company was dissolved under the postwar policy of decentralizing economic power. Various independent companies came into being, many of which still use the name "Mitsubishi" and the "three-diamond" mark, for example the Mitsubishi Bank, Mitsubishi Motors, and last but not least Mitsubishi Electric. Although the companies retain their autonomy and developed independently, they benefit from the shared sense of community coming from a common history and corporate culture.

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

The shipbuilding company known as Mitsubishi Heavy Industry shed its production facilities for electrical shipbuilding equipment in 1921 and thus initiated the establishment of the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. Mitsubishi Electric has since evolved into a world leader in developing, manufacturing, and marketing electronic and electrical equipment. Our activities focus on the following areas: Information processing and communications, aerospace development and satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy, transport and building equipment.

Today Mitsubishi Electric has bases for research and development, production, sales, and other operations at over 110 locations all over the world. Our global activities enable us to fulfil our social responsibility as company, going above and beyond. We participate in cultural and educational projects and strive to cooperate with local communities that are home to our facilities.

Mitsubishi Electric commenced its business in Germany in 1978

In 1996 Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and took over all Mitsubishi Electric's European sales and marketing business. In this connection the German subsidiary was established to conduct our German sales and marketing activities.