Kenzo Tsujimoto is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Capcom, Co. Ltd. and Chairman of Capcom U.S.A., Inc., as well as owner of Kenzo Estate. For over three decades, Mr. Tsujimoto’s business and charitable endeavors have served to strengthen the bonds between Japan and Northern California.
Growing up in Nara, Mr. Tsujimoto joined the family food wholesaling business while studying accounting in his spare time. At the age of 22, he left the family business to open his own confectionary store in Osaka, and soon was also selling cotton candy machines. In the early 1970s Mr. Tsujimoto added coin-operated game machines to his distribution business, which by then had expanded throughout Japan, and was able to capitalize on the growing popularity of arcade video games.
In 1983 Mr. Tsujimoto founded the company that would become Capcom, now one of the world’s most successful video game publishers, in Osaka. Within a few years the company had achieved international success through development of original games like “Street Fighter” and “Mega Man,” and in 1985 Capcom opened its first overseas subsidiary, which was originally located in Sunnyvale (since relocated to San Mateo). Capcom stock was registered as an OTC security with the Japan Securities Dealers Association in 1990, and listed on the First Section of Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2000.
Under Mr. Tsujimoto’s leadership, Capcom, still headquartered in Osaka, has created some of the world’s best-known and highest-selling video games while making significant contributions to its local community and industry associations.
While continuing to lead Capcom through a period of dramatic change and growth in the video games business, in 1990 Mr. Tsujimoto acquired 3,800 acres of undeveloped land in the eastern mountains of Napa Valley. Setting out with the objective of creating world-class wines of distinction, artistry and tradition, Mr. Tsujimoto retained some of Napa Valley’s most prominent advisors to assist with planning and development of the new winery. Finally, after fifteen years, Kenzo Estate released its first vintage, and Kenzo Estate wines, with Japanese-inspired names like Ai, Asatsuyu and Murasaki, have since become known and appreciated throughout the world for their uniqueness and refinement.
Mr. Tsujimoto and his wife Natsuko are significant contributors to community causes in Napa Valley, through Auction Napa Valley and other organizations, focusing particularly on children’s issues.