Igniting Workplace Enthusiasm

Dale Carnegie in Japan

In 1932 Dale Carnegie made his first of four visits to Japan. On July 24, 1939, Carnegie made his second visit to Japan. Invited by the Japanese Board of Tourist Industry and Japanese Government Railways in an effort to improve communications and cultural understanding between America and Japan, Carnegie arrived on a self-described "Education and Relaxation Tour."[11]

After his steam ship docked in Yokohama, he noted at a dockside interview that he was particularly interested to stay in traditional Japanese Inns, to have an authentic Japanese experience. He also hoped to visit a Japanese farm. He mentioned he was raised on a farm himself, still owned a farm in Missouri and so was interested to get an idea of what farming was like in Japan. Asked for his views on the Japanese people, he remarked that they were the“courtliest people” he had ever met. He also ventured that Americans could learn a lot from the Japanese when it came to courtesy and good manners.

He made his way to the famous Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. From July 24 to July 30, he met representatives from the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo and the Nichi Nichi Tokyo newspaper in Karuizawa. On July 31, he was the guest of honour giving a talk on human relations at a special luncheon held at the American Club in Tokyo.[11]

Carnegie’s travels continued as far south as Shimonoseki, visiting Miyanoshita, Kawana, Atami, Gamagori, Gifu, Yamada, Toba, Nara, Kyoto and Hiroshima along the way. During the course of his visit, he had stayed at the Fujiya Hotel in Miyanoshita City, the Nara Hotel in Nara City, the Tokiwa Kan in Gamagori, the Nagaragawa Hotel in Gifu, visited the Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture and observed the Mikimoto pearl fisheries in Toba.[11] On August 6, Dale Carnegie took a steamboat from Shimonoseki to Pusan, Korea where he embarked on a brief tour of the country, eventually making his way to Beijing and Shanghai.[11]

On September 1, 1939, he made his third visit to Japan before returning home. This time he visited the Daibutsu in Kamakura and again stayed at the Imperial Hotel. He departed for America on September 4, 1939.[11]

In July 1953, Carnegie made his fourth visit to Japan, meeting friends from his previous visit and taking time to enjoy the sights of Kyoto.[12]

Yukinaga “Frank” Mochizuki met Dale Carnegie in 1939, just before the Pacific War started and eventually would bring Dale Carnegie Training to Japan.[13] Born in 1921, his family were farmers from Gokaimura in the Kajikazawa area in Yamanashi prefecture. His father died when he was ten, so like Dale Carnegie he knew what it was like to suffer rural poverty.[14] Despite his humble background he went to the highly prestigious Keio University in Tokyo and after graduation studied hotel management for a year at the YMCA and then went to work at the Nagaragawa Hotel in Gifu Prefecture. In 1939, while still a student at Keio University, Mochizuki was asked by Professor Roland Eastlake to become Dale Carnegie's interpreter, after the originally arranged translator dropped out. Mochizuki had been a very keen student of English and he accompanied Dale Carnegie throughout his visit in Japan. [14]

Mochizuki noted about Dale Carnegie. “I was so impressed by his high ideals to make people think and act in terms of others. At this time I thought that if statesmen and diplomats thought like Dale Carnegie, there would most probably be no war in the world. Mr. Carnegie gave me a student’s edition of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Throughout the war I carried this precious volume as my Bible in associating with people”.

During the war, Mochizuki was conscripted and sent to Hong Kong (1942-45) to be the Deputy-General Manager of the Peninsular Hotel during the Japanese military occupation of the city. He found himself struggling to manage a 1000 staff from 43 countries, and relied heavily on the first 9 Principles laid down by Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People”. [14] He repatriated himself back to a devastated Japan at the end of the war. Because of his English ability he got a job working as an interpreter and Assistant Manager at the Manpei Hotel in Karuizawa which at that time was being run by the American Military Eighth Army. [15] These connections proved to be very valuable, as this gave him access to people prepared to assist him in his desire to study in the US. He married Fumi at this time. Her family had been samurai in Aichi Prefecture, moving to Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture during the Meiji period.


In 1950 Mochizuki and Fumi went to the United States, where he studied hotel operation and tourism at the Phoenix College in Arizona as well as at Michigan State University (he was the first Japanese to receive a degree in Hotel Administration from Michigan). [16] Upon completion of his studies in 1954, he was invited by the Hilton Hotels to study their management system. The Hilton chain were planning constructing a new hotel in Tokyo at that time and so were open to having a Japanese graduate join the company. [16] This enabled Mochizuki to get that all important work visa to stay in America. While with the Hilton in Chicago, Mochizuki met Dale Carnegie again: “Carnegie was a very humble man who, instead of criticizing the weaknesses in people, praised their strengths wholeheartedly”. [16]

Mochizuki worked as a trainee in the various departments of the hotel management for four years at Chicago’s Conrad Hilton Hotel and Palmer House. Vice President Handon suggested he take the Dale Carnegie course. “While I was at Palmer House, I suddenly noticed that Hilton officials were outstanding in leadership, especially in their handling of subordinates and customers, of course. Upon asking the reason, I discovered that many of them were graduates of the Dale Carnegie course. Before I entered the course, I never thought I would be able to deliver a speech in front of American people because of my borrowed language. But by the fifth session, I was completely changed”.

The then Chicago Sponsor (Franchisee) Mrs Evans encouraged Mochizuki to take the course, even though it would be a challenge for him to do it in English. His instructor was Mr. Brown, the President of the Bank of Chicago who praised Mochizuki as a “plucky Japanese”. [17]


On June 6th, 1959 he was voted by his 44 Chicago Dale Carnegie Course Class #612 classmates as one of the three champion speakers for the commencement ceremony, receiving the Highest Effort Award. Mrs Evans predicted that one day Mochizuki would contribute to creating Dale Carnegie in Japan. “At that time I felt I really had a mission to plant the seed of Dale Carnegie in the soil of Japan so that Japanese people could think on their feet and express themselves, especially to people of other countries”. After his return to Japan at the end of 1959, Mochizuki began talking to top people in business, finance and industry. There were many who doubted whether an educational system from the US would really be appropriate for Japan. The President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan A.Lewis Burridge encouraged Mochizuki to promote Dale Carnegie in Japan saying it would revolutionise the thinking of Japanese business people. [18] Mochizuki also received support from leaders in Japan such as the Japan Productivity Center’s Kohei Goushi, Japan Economic Federation’s (Keidanren) Jinpachiro Hanamura, Aoyama University’s Kinjiro Oki, and Hitotsubashi University’s Masao Hisatake. [18]

The Japanese Government policy under the 1960-1964 Hayato Ikeda Cabinet was to double the income of the Japanese people over ten years. By the second half of the 1960s Japan’s GNP was averaging a phenomenal growth rate of 11.8%. Also the opening of Japan to global trade and investment meant that there was an increasing desire for internationalization of corporate training, so Mochizuki and Whitlow’s timing for launching in Japan was perfect.


In 1962-63 Dale Carnegie Training was launched in Japan by Edwin “Whit” Whitlow, from Hawaii. Whitlow was born in 1905, originally an attorney (from Dale Carnegie’s home state of Missouri), a businessman, and an educator. He moved to Hawaii in 1930 and was the President of The Management Training Center of Honolulu. He also operated a number of educational institutions in Hawaii including the Honolulu Business College, Canon’s College of Commerce, The Phillips Commercial School, Galusha School of Business Training, Sullivan Commercial School and West Commercial School.

He was the author of a number of publications: “Design for Successful Career Planning”; “Creative Selling”; “How to Get the Right Job and Gain Promotion”; “Telephone Communication”; “Public Speaking for Executives”; “Results Oriented Management” and the co-author of “Managing Through People”.

Whitlow became the Sponsor for Dale Carnegie in 1948 for Hawaii. It was quite common in those days that owners of commercial colleges became Dale Carnegie sponsors and Whitlow certainly fitted into that category.

Being a far sighted businessman, he approached Dale Carnegie’s widow Dorothy, who had been running the organization since 1951, with the proposition to open up Dale Carnegie further throughout Asia, eventually sponsoring Japan, Hong Kong and the Pacific. Prior to this in 1957 only Singapore and Malaysia had launched Dale Carnegie in Asia.

Whitlow was very well regarded within Dale Carnegie because he had developed the Management Seminar and had sold it to Dale Carnegie in the 1950s. He had also been very active conducting seminars and workshops in Hong Kong, South Korea, New Zealand, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and Columbia.

When Whitlow approached Dorothy about finding a local partner in Japan, the local Chicago Sponsor Mrs Evans remembered that a Frank Mochizuki from Japan had graduated from the Dale Carnegie Course and had returned to Japan only a few years earlier in 1959. Mochizuki was probably the only Japanese graduate from the Dale Carnegie Course until the business was launched in 1963, so he would have been top of mind as a potential partner for Japan.

Whitlow tracked Mochizuki down to the Palace Hotel in Tokyo where Mochizuki was working as Head of Sales. [19] Whitlow convinced Mochizuki to give up his job with the Palace Hotel and together launch Dale Carnegie in Japan. In that era to give up a safe and secure job with a prestigious hotel like the Palace and become involved with a foreign “start-up” would have been a very big decision! Whitlow received the license for sponsorship in Japan in October 1962.

Whitlow would fly to Japan from Hawaii and spend a number of weeks each time, conducting classes and mentoring Mochizuki. Whitlow acted as a strong supporter for Frank Mochizuki who was an Associate Sponsor until he could take over the running of Dale Carnegie in Japan by himself. Mochizuki began talking to top people in business, finance and industry. “Although I had difficulty in convincing the people I talked to because of the entirely different ways of thinking, after a two year struggle, I finally succeeded”. For the first three years the Dale Carnegie Courses were taught in English. [20] Today Japanese language is the main language of instruction but courses English are still being provided as well.

Whitlow aged 75, died on March 8, 1980 on a visit to Beaverton, Oregon after having been hit by a car. He had been there organizing a series of management seminars.

The first “accelerated” Dale Carnegie class took place on January 8 through to February 21, 1963. Hugh Bigelow, Assistant Vice-President for Dale Carnegie and Associates flew to Japan to conduct the course in English at the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce Building in the Marunouchi area.

Frank Mochizuki decided that the best strategy to see Dale Carnegie Training succeed in Japan was to make it exclusive and only available to the most prestigious companies. [19] Thirty-eight people participated in that first course, of whom seven were foreigners. The organizations represented were mainly blue chip companies including: NCR, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, HSBC, Hankyu Express, Kirin, Hakuhodo, Fuji Iron and Steel, Bank of Japan, Yamaichi Securities, Nissan, IBM Japan, Chase Manhattan Bank, Takashimaya, Fuji Heavy Industries, Ube Industries, Fuji Bank, and Esso Standard Sekiyu. The Graduate Assistants were Frank Mochizuki and Ted Hondo. Fumi Mochizuki was also a member of that first class.

Mochizuki commented, “Primarily we intend to destroy fear, overcome inferiority complexes and help the student to draw out his potentiality to the maximum extent. We seek the best point of each student and try and bring it out. We teach students not to compare themselves with others – everyone is different with different abilities. One must be oneself and compare himself with the way he was yesterday”.

Immediately following that first class in January 1963, special trainer development classes were conducted to create the instructor corps for Japan. By January 1975, there were 26 active trainers fully licensed to teach the Dale Carnegie curriculum. [18]

Mochizuki was known as a dynamic salesman and he was very successful in expanding Dale Carnegie Training in Japan. He also was quite astute in recruiting leading businessmen, who were running major foreign companies in Japan, to become his trainers. The Presidents of such well known brand names as Warner Brothers and Bank of America were amongst the early trainers. They had good English, were international in their outlook and understood the power of the Dale Carnegie content.

In 1966 Mochizuki organized the first University Class.[21] Prior to this he developed a profile of university students. He interviewed personnel directors of 318 companies and the Dean of Students at 10 universities. His research convinced him that 90% of university students and young university graduates lacked confidence in their communication and human relations abilities, and that most were not aware of the necessity of human relations because they lived in an isolated (tight shell) world. He also found that 90% of the students had no strong desire to improve themselves and that most of them had vague objectives or were going to school without a definite purpose.

Mochizuki did find that 10% of Keio University students were interested in what he told them about the Dale Carnegie course and some came to observe one of the adult classes in session. At Keio, 80% of the students who Mochizuki interviewed enrolled in the University Student Classes and at other universities 40% enrolled. In 1966 and thereafter the classes were held on the premises of Sophia University in Tokyo.

In October 1967, the pilot class for the Dale Carnegie Sales Course was held with J. Edwin Whitlow coming from Hawaii to conduct the training.

Around this time, in the late 1960s the well known writer Taizo Kusayanagi described the Dale Carnegie Course as “Showa no Terakoya” or fundamental education for the post-war Showa period in a prominent magazine article. [18] In January 1975 Mochizuki published a long article in the Management Guide (Manejimento Gaido) magazine describing the evolution of Dale Carnegie in Japan. [18] Mochizuki was very successful. He was awarded prizes for the most active Carnegie Franchise in both 1980 and 1981. [18] In 1988 the World Dale Carnegie Convention was hosted in Japan. By 1989, he was training 3000 students a year. [18]

Frank Mochizuki eventually retired and was succeeded by Tokugen Yamamoto in 1994, until his sudden death in 1995. Yamamoto was described as "brilliant" and high hopes were held for the brand under his leadership. Following his unexpected passing, his wife, Yukiko Yamamoto, took over the responsibilities for Carnegie in Japan until 2007 when she retired. Craig Kirkwood succeeded Mrs. Yamamoto and in 2010 he passed the responsibility for Dale Carnegie in Japan to Dr. Greg Story.

  1. a b c d e Japan Tourist Bureau Memos and Correspondence Documents
  2. President of Sogensha, INC., publishing, Keiichi Yabe, July 2011
  3. The history of Frank Mochizuki comes from an article by Susan Dibble, Dale Carnegie Course Catching On In Japan, Japan Times, 1964
  4. a b c Management Guide (Manejimento Gaido) magazine, January 1975, p.60
  5. Japan Times Personality Profile Article on Frank Mochizuki, October 7, 1989 by Vivienne Kenrick
  6. a b c Management Guide (Manejimento Gaido) magazine, January 1975, p.61
  7. Management Guide (Manejimento Gaido) magazine, January 1975, p.62
  8. a b c d e f g Management Guide (Manejimento Gaido) magazine, January 1975, p.63
  9. a b Interview with Mrs. Fumi Mochizuki, May 10th, 2013 at Hakone Chojuen by Dr. Greg story, President of Dale Carnegie Japan
  10. Business Tokyo, Access Japan: “Confidence Men”, November 1989, p.44
  11. Japan Institute, University Classes at Japan Institute, 1967




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