Yusaku Maezawa: The Japanese billionaire who wants to fly to the Moon

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Yusaku Maezawa

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AFP

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa first entered the general public eye as a drummer in a hardcore punk band.

He went on to make a fortune as a web-based trend tycoon, and is finest recognized exterior Japan for spending tens of tens of millions of at record-breaking artwork auctions.

Mr Maezawa’s ambitions now stretch past Earth. He hopes to be the primary civilian passenger to fly to the Moon, as a part of an formidable mission with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The colorful govt needs to take a bunch of artists with him on the flight slated for 2023.

Mr Maezawa, 42, has not revealed how a lot he paid for the journey, which brings collectively two eccentric billionaires who usually are not averse to being within the international highlight.

The Japanese entrepreneur started promoting uncommon CDs and data in 1998 by an organization he based referred to as Begin Right now.

The mail-order catalogue enterprise moved on-line on the flip of the millennium and added garments to its providing.

“I used to be president of my firm whereas touring across the nation with the band,” he instructed the Japan Occasions earlier this yr. “When it turned bodily unattainable to deal with each, I selected my firm – that was round once I was 25 or 26.”

He launched trend e-retailer Zozotown in 2004, and by the point he was in his mid-30s, he was a billionaire.

Forbes journal now lists him because the 18th richest man in Japan with a private wealth of $2.9bn (£2.2bn).

His firm just lately made headlines after it launched a bodysuit that clients can use to add their precise physique measurements to the garments buying website.

He has splashed his money at high-profile modern artwork auctions and paid $110.5m (£84m) final yr for a big piece by Jean-Michel Basquiat – a document for the late US artist.

On the time he mentioned he deliberate to place it on show ultimately at a museum in Chiba, his hometown.

In 2016, he paid $57.3m for an additional Basquiat work – Satan’s Head. He mentioned in an announcement he “felt shivers” when he first noticed it.

“No matter its situation or gross sales worth, I used to be pushed by the duty to acknowledge nice artwork and the necessity to cross on not solely the art work itself, but in addition the information of the artist’s tradition and his lifestyle to future generations,” he mentioned.

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yusaku2020

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Yusaku Maezawa posted a picture of Satan’s Head in 2016 with the caption: “Jean-Michel Basquiat is coming to Japan”

Now, the billionaire plans to make use of his journey across the Moon to encourage new “masterpieces,” created by the artists he chooses to accompany him.

“They are going to be requested to create one thing after they return to Earth. These masterpieces will encourage the dreamer inside all of us,” the longer term newbie astronaut instructed reporters.

The artwork mission referred to as #dearMoon was offered in a video launched shortly after he and Mr Musk introduced the Moon flight.

The worth Mr Maezawa agreed to pay for his ticket to area has not been disclosed, however based on Mr Musk it is “some huge cash”.

Nonetheless, doubt stays over whether or not or not Mr Maezawa and his artwork troupe will make it to orbit the Moon.

The launch depends on a rocket but to be constructed, and Mr Musk himself mentioned it was not “100% sure we are able to convey this to flight”.

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