Mitsui Bussan in London

1876 trading arm of Mitsui zaibatsu founded. Appointed by the Japanese government as marketing agents for rice sales to Europe.

1877 Mitsui sends American Robert Walker Irwin to London to act as their agent

1878 Mitsui Yonosuke, third son of Mitsui Kofuku, who had studed in US for five years, arrives in London. Irwin returns to Japan and his older brother Richard takes over.

1880 Official opening of the office, upgraded from an agency, at 1 Crosby Square/28 Bishopsgate street within. Sasase Moroaki sent to be branch manager.

1880 Sharp fall in Japanese economy and spiralling inflation caused Japanese government to restrict rice exports. Sasase diversifies into textile machinery, imports of china, earthenware and silk.

1880 Mitsui‘s London office starts to act as agent for Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance

1881 Sasase, married, merchant, aged 29 living as a boarder at 37 Walterton Road, in Paddington, with 15 year old scholar Masuda Yusakei (Yusuke?).

1881 Younike Mitsui, unmarried, merchant, aged 25, living as a boarder at 122 Lancaster Road, London, with Isahaya Yenzo, a scholar from Nagasaki.

1885 Tanabe Jiroichi becomes second general manager of Mitsui in London

1883 buys Ecchu Maru built by Short Brothers of Sunderland, in 1881, later transfers it to KUK

1886 Tanabe Jiroichi returns to Japan due to illness. Watanabe Senjiro becomes new general manager of Mitsui in London

1886 Mitsui becomes agent for British firm Platt Bros machines