“Get up 10 times if you fall 9” as her motto: A female businessperson who put all her might into her work in modern Japan.
Kajimaya, one of Osaka’s largest merchants during the Edo period, faced a management crisis due to the turbulence of the Meiji Restoration. Asako Hirooka participated in the management of Kajimaya, the family business she married into. As she overcame various difficulties and failures, she played a central role in transforming Kajimaya into a modern corporate group, including coal mines, banks and insurance businesses.
With respect for the importance of every life, Asako, her husband, Shingoro, and her brother-in-law, Kyuemon (Masaaki), founded Daido Life Insurance Company in 1902. Kajimaya ran Asahi Life at the time (entirely a separate company from the existing Asahi Life), and mainly contributed to the establishment of Daido Life through merging with Gokoku Life and Hokkai Life. She also devoted herself to women’s education and worked tirelessly to establish Japan Women’s University.
Asako’s motto is “kyuten jukki” or “Get up 10 times if you fall 9.” The common Japanese proverb is “Nanakorobi yaoki” or “Get up 8 times if you fall 7.” Asako’s motto shows her determination to never give up and pull herself up again, even if she fell 2 more times. It is a phrase that expresses Asako’s resilience and a powerful way of life.