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The 1995 earthquake that devastated his native Kobe, Japan, was a turning point for Hiroshi Mikitani (MBA 1993). “It made me realize that I wanted to revitalize Japan’s economy,” says Mikitani, who also sponsored relief efforts during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. To aid small-business owners, he developed a web-based shopping mall—Rakuten, which roughly means “optimism”—often called the Amazon.com of Japan.