- 滋賀大学経済学部研究年報 (ISSN:13411608)
- vol.3, pp.39-80, 1996
The Tokyo Watanabe Bank, as a medium metropolitan bank, was the most notorious Kikan Ginko (banks for financial groups) in Japan for its role in triggering the Financial Crisis of 1927. Bank Founder Jiuemon Watanabe, a so called "Land Baron" in Tokyo, concentrated the bank's investments and loans in railways and electric light industries such as Nippon Railway and Tokyo Electric Light. But his sons, especially Katsusaburo Watanabe, famous for holding a record number of offices concurrently, reinvested bank funds in active and speculative stocks during the wartime boom. Katsusaburo Watanabe concurrently held the posts of more than 60 companies and ambitiously tried to make his business group grow into a "Watanabe Zaibatsu". In the post-World War I recession, many subsidiaries of the bank went bankrupt. Then this bank was forced to lend from even loan sharks, such as Inui & Co., due to an extreme cash flow shortage. The Tokyo Watanabe Bank temporarily closed on March 15,1927,and triggered the Financial Crisis of 1927,owing to the inappropriate parliamentary testimony of Finance Minister Naoharu Kataoka, who inadvertently mentioned the bank's closing.