Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa ignited a frenzy on Twitter on New Year’s Day when he pledged to give $9 million to his followers as part of an experiment to see if money would increase their happiness.
Maezawa also made headlines in 2018 for purchasing the first tickets for Elon Musk’s SpaceX flights around the moon.
Maezawa built a $2 billion fortune running online clothing retailer Zozotown, Forbes reported.
Before fashion, Maezawa had a career in punk rock.
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When most billionaires want to fund scientific research, they donate to universities or hospitals. Not Yusaku Maezawa.
In a New Year’s Day tweet, the Japanese fashion tycoon announced that he would give away $9 million to a group of his Twitter followers to see if money really does make people happier, Reuters reported. Maezawa, 44, previously made headlines for buying out SpaceX’s first flight around the moon for himself and a group of artists in 2018.
Keep reading to learn how the eccentric billionaire made and spends his fortune.
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Yusaku Maezawa was born in Japan’s eastern Chiba prefecture in 1975.
Maezawa still lives in Chiba, according to Forbes.
He also has an apartment in Tokyo’s ritzy Hiroo district, according to The Times.
Maezawa knew early in life that he did not want to be a traditional businessman.
In a 2004 interview, Maezawa said that “seeing all the tired faces on my morning commutes” inspired him to forgo college and a traditional white-collar job after graduating from Japan’s prestigious Waseda Jitsugyo High School, according to The Daily Beast. Maezawa briefly moved to the United States with his then-girlfriend, before returning to Japan.
Maezawa turned his passion for music into his first business, launching a CD and record mail-order business in 1995, The Daily Beast reported. The first albums Maezawa sold were from the personal collection he built up while living in the United States.
He also had a career in punk rock.
At the time, Maezawa went by the stage name YOU X SUCK as the drummer for 1990s punk rock band Switch Style, Conde Nast Traveler reported. The name lives on his Twitter handle, @yousuck2020.
In videos from the group’s 1997 “….TO INFINITY” tour, Maezawa can be seen headbanging while playing the drums. The group released an EP in 1995 and subsequently another four albums before Maezawa announced that he was taking a break from music in 2001, according to Discogs.
Maezawa made his multibillion-dollar fortune from his 38% stake in the parent company of Japanese fashion retailers ZOZOTOWN and fashion app WEAR.
Zozo’s clothing brands are extremely popular among Japanese youth but little known outside the country. Sales topped $1 billion in 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported.
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Source:: Business Insider – Science