It was founded on May 13, 1870 by Iwasaki Yatarō, child of a samurai family. He played a major role in transforming Japan into an industrialized society. It was dedicated at first to maritime transport.
The brand and name Mitsubishi, refer to "three diamonds'. Its name is derived from the words 'mitsu' meaning three and 'hishi' meaning triangular water chestnuts.
Today, it is a consortium of decentralized companies.