Entrepreneurship of the artist Takashi Murakami

September 11, 2017
by Noriyuki Morimoto

For the artist Takashi Murakami, the art market is a game structured by strict rules. Moreover, it is a game with a long history and depth which cannot be changed overnight. Since it is a game, cheating is not allowed. But by knowing and complying with the rules while incorporating intentional violation of the rules, he offers new rules to the game. Such tough effort is essential to gain acceptance in the market.


An artist is worthless unless he adds new elements to the market. But newness exists only beyond strict observation of the rules of the market. Simple violation of the rules is nothing new: it is just a violation to be denied. It is not even art.


There should be a profound meaning behind the title “Art Entrepreneurship” when Murakami discusses his art. Some people apparently take it as his attempt to make money out of art, which is a ridiculous misunderstanding. The form of art itself is the fundamental form of entrepreneurship in the business world. Entrepreneurship is art.


Actually, if you take Murakami’s logic and apply what he says about the art market to the business market in general, the book stands as an excellent book of entrepreneurship in business.


Many people aspire to start a business. Regardless of which field that business would be in, entrepreneurship should attempt to bring something new in the existing market. Meanwhile, every market has rules established through a long history. Visible and invisible rules make up a complicated network. Usually a new business starts with a critical perspective to the existing norm, but if it is just a violation of existing rules, it is simply denied. The startup ends a failure.


A new business would not succeed without a new element that is accepted by the market: to borrow Murakami’s words, suggestion of a new game, new interpretation of history, and violation of the rules with conviction. It is a matter of fact that a robust business design which grasps the structural change of society is essential for the success of a business; it should be meaningful to clarify the actual contents through the three aspects Murakami presents.

Noriyuki Morimoto
Noriyuki Morimoto

Chief Executive Officer, HC Asset Management Co.,Ltd. Noriyuki Morimoto founded HC Asset Management in November 2002. As a pioneer investment consultant in Japan, he established the investment consulting business of Watson Wyatt K.K. (now Willis Towers Watson) in 1990.