Takafumi Horie

Takafumi Horie

Japanese entrepreneur
Date of Birth: 29.11.1972
Country: Japan

Biography of Takafumi Horie

Takafumi Horie, a Japanese entrepreneur, was born on November 29, 1972, in Yame, Fukuoka, Japan. He attended the University of Tokyo, studying literature with a specialization in religion. However, his academic pursuits were cut short when he co-founded an internet company called "Livin' on the Edge" in 1995, together with his friends and fellow students.

Takafumi Horie

Horie gained nationwide attention in 2004 when he attempted to purchase the baseball team "Kintetsu Buffaloes," although his offer was ultimately rejected. He faced criticism from conservative business circles in Japan for his unconventional business methods, such as hostile takeovers. In a country where wearing a tie is considered a business norm, Horie often appeared in t-shirts or unbuttoned shirts.

In 2005, during the 56th International Astronautical Congress held in Fukuoka, Horie unveiled his plan for space tourism. He based his spacecraft design on the Russian "Transport Supply Ship" (TKS) and expressed his intention to invest in space exploration and launch manned rockets in the near future. His project was named "Japan Space Dream – A Takafumi Horie Project."

However, Horie's career took a dramatic turn in January 2006 when he was arrested by the Japanese prosecutor's office on suspicion of securities fraud and money laundering. The stock price of his internet company, "Livedoor," plummeted by 14.4% in a single day, causing panic in the Tokyo Stock Exchange and leading to its early closure. The Nikkei index also suffered a significant drop, which had ripple effects on markets worldwide, particularly in Asia.

After being released on bail, Horie resigned as the CEO of Livedoor in January 2006 and was indicted for falsifying financial statements and spreading false information to investors. Despite maintaining his innocence, he faced a trial where the prosecutors sought a four-year prison sentence. On March 16, 2007, Horie was found guilty of falsifying Livedoor's financial reports and sentenced to two years and six months in prison. He appealed the decision, but the Supreme Court of Japan upheld the verdict on April 26, 2011.

Horie, known as "Horimon" due to his resemblance to the popular Japanese cartoon character Doraemon, continued to be a controversial figure in Japan's business world. His rise and fall exemplify the challenges faced by entrepreneurs who challenge traditional practices and norms.