Joust of The Half Brothers

Two super-rich Tokyo entrepreneurs chase each other's success

"Cruel is the strife of brothers," wrote Aristotle. The observation, it seems, applies even in the normally bland and polite world of Japanese business, specifically in the case of the Tsutsumi brothers, whose quiet rivalry has led not only to strife but also to success and enormous wealth. If that is not enough to inspire a crackling TV mini-series, add the fact that at least one of their fortunes rests on the graves of shoguns.

Seiji Tsutsumi, 61, is the dapper, soft-spoken head of the Seibu Saison Group (1987 sales: $28 billion), a conglomerate of department stores, supermarkets and service organizations....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!