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What Dentsu means to me.

What Dentsu means to me.

Yozo Nakamura passed away last month. He was 84 years old.
Just last year, he came to visit my mother and father in the fall…
He long served as the vice president of Dentsu. May he rest in peace.

I met Mr. Nakamura when I was 7-8 years old. I may have been even younger. As my father was the director of Dentsu’s radio and television stations, former staff members like Mr. Nakamura, Mr. Maruyama (former head of Dentsu Osaka Branch, now deceased), and Mr. Shimojo (former director of urban development, now deceased) frequently gathered at our home for fun parties.
Everyone really liked parties. Some would stay the night, so I would often wake up in the morning to find men in the house I did not know. I was a child, but my hands were too full to be shy, haha.

I performed magic for everyone and sang songs by Akira Fuse. It was very much like how you would expect a second son to entertain guests.

My father, who is still alive, loved Dentsu. As a child, it was fun to join the adults and hear about Dentsu’s bright and fun corporate culture and its successes in the TV and film industries.

In particular, there was a Dentsu sports day held each year. Many entertainers would gather (it was Osaka, so there were entertainers instead of celebrities). The prizes were magnificent.

After I became a junior high school student, my father would bring home advance screening tickets for films on what felt like a daily basis, so I was also able to watch Hollywood films earlier than anyone else.

When my father retired (25 years ago in 1996), the good old stories about Dentsu stopped. My father often reminisces about how happy his life at Dentsu was. In his usual half-joking tone he would say, “I was particularly lucky to retire before the coming of the internet.”

The year after my father retired, I left Tohokushina and became unemployed. At the time, Mr. Nakamura was vice president of Dentsu. He was worried about my future and invited me to come to Dentsu. Dentsu prohibits parent-child hiring, but my father had just retired so there was not a problem. However, I decided to go to Sony.

Fate is an unknowable thing. Recently, Mr. Kuretani, with who I used to hang out a lot when I was in my twenties, became vice president of Dentsu. I felt this was impressive, but with such issues as government collusion, the sale of its Tokyo headquarters in Shiodome, and the largest deficit in company history, there are so many problems that it hurts me to think about them. The people at Dentsu are all great individuals, but the company itself is sick.

Here, I would like to place my hopes in the leadership of Mr. Kuretani.

(The photo is a model designed by architect Kenzo Tange. He was asked by Hideo Yoshida, the president of Dentsu at the time, to design Dentsu’s head office building.) From the “Tsukiji Redevelopment Plan” (1964).

◆References
Mainichi Shimbun “Yozo Nakamura, former vice president of Dentsu (now Dentsu Group), dies at 84”
https://mainichi.jp/articles/20210105/ddm/041/060/068000c

NewsPicks “We are no longer an advertising company,” says Dentsu’s vice president and CEO Norihiro Kuretani.
https://newspicks.com/news/5391740/

Nikkan Gendai “METI does it again… 42 contracts worth ¥40.3 billion awarded to Dentsu from FY17 to FY19”
https://www.nikkan-gendai.com/articles/view/news/274561

AERA “Overseas forces behind the expected record high sale price of Dentsu headquarters. Why foreign capital is moving to ‘buy Japan.'”
https://dot.asahi.com/aera/2021020800024.html

SankeiBiz “Dentsu’s deficit reaches record ¥159.5 billion; losses reverberate overseas”
https://www.sankeibiz.jp/business/news/210215/bsc2102151734003-n1.htm

Kenzo Tange’s Dentsu headquarters building awaits demolition: The illusions of the Tsukiji Redevelopment Plan
https://bit.ly/3jSW4Q3