Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company was inaugurated through the merger of the two oldest life insurers in Japan, namely, Meiji Life Insurance Company and The Yasuda Mutual Life Insurance Company.
In 1881, Taizo Abe, a former student of Yukichi Fukuzawa, established Meiji Life Insurance Limited Company in tandem with Heigoro Shoda and other early pioneers of the Mitsubishi conglomerate. Meiji Life was the first company in Japan to provide a modern-day life insurance service, in which premiums were determined based on expected mortality rates and other actuarial factors.
In 1880, Zenjiro Yasuda founded “Kyosai Gohyakumei-Sha,” a mutual aid company supported by 500 contributors. In the beginning, this organization adopted “assessment insurance,” a system that obliges a limited number of contributors to equally bear the cost of insurance claims paid, with the aim of providing an easy-to-understand insurance system.
To improve its service, in 1894 Kyosai Gohyakumei-Sha reorganized into “Kyosai Seimei Hoken Goshi Gaisya,” a modern-day life insurance mutual aid company, thus laying the foundation for the development of The Yasuda Mutual Life Insurance Company.