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No.1 Crossroad

This story tells about a man called Yanagida, born in 1883, who started business of present Empire Motor Co., Ltd.
The story begins when Yanagida came up to Tokyo alone in December, 1907.
He, living in the countryside then, decided to leave for Tokyo as he thought he would bury himself in the country if he should continue as he has been.

He started selling canned foods for a living but could not afford to keep his married life.
He then worked as a substitute teacher at junior high school but his salary was too low to live on.

In 1911, when he became 28 years old, he visited a man of home village, who had made a success in running electric parts shop at Ginza and he then started work as a sales clerk there.
This event seems to be a turning point for him.

This shop was looking for a promising product then by ordering foreign magazines in order to develop its business further and came to a conclusion that motor car, just born, would be the one.
In 1912, 5 passenger cars and 1 Crowell Hart freight car were imported by them from Empire Motor Company in Detroit, U.S.A.
(Ref: Picture below)
He was made to be a manager in charge of sales when the shipping invoice had arrived in early spring in 1913.
The shop recommended him to run his own independent business, for which he had made up his mind to follow.

On April 10th, 1913, he started his own business at 18 Gofuku-Cho, Nihonbashi, Tokyo under the name of “Empire Motor Co., Ltd.”, named after an imported car.
Because he wanted his business to be recognized quickly by the public, he registered the company as “Impire Motor Co., Ltd.” which appears first in the telephone book then as it goes with Japanese alphabetical order, i.e. I, Ro, Ha, Ni….
Soon after opening business, long-awaited first sale of the “Empire Car” was made.
This was the start of the path of his car life.