Katana aims for the creation of new values through the utilization of marketing know-how and the further enrichment of Japan. Here are some of our projects.

Realizing new growth in mature markets

Marugame Seimen: Toridoll Holdings Corporation

We achieved an 18% growth in a short period of time through reconstruction of the brand.
As a result of the decreasing population in Japan, the restaurant industry is becoming increasingly competitive, and Marugame Seimen is an established player in the market with its udon noodles, a commodity product. Nearly 20 years after its foundation, the restaurant had grown to over 800 stores across the nation, yet customer numbers indicated its struggle, with a year-to year decline for 16 consecutive months.
Customer flow for existing restaurants (5-week average comparison with the equivalent days in the previous year)

Note: the number of customers in May 2019 is a net figure, excluding a boost in customers related to the Super Friday campaign in cooperation with Softbank.

From standstill to growth: what were the focal points that determined the boost in the number of consumers choosing Marugame Seimen?
Katana’s “Mathematical Marketing®” draws on the correlations and ratios of the various drivers that lead to sales. From this comprehensive information, it establishes a “big-strategy” with a high rate of goal achievement, and begins re-branding. The scientific approach, which forecasts success, redefined the brand values of Marugame Seimen, and together with their team we developed and carried out new marketing plans. The re-branding, developed so as to ensure consumers would be attracted to Marugame Seimen, spread, and the business showed steady growth. After just four months it had recovered more than 10% in terms of existing restaurant customer figures. Moreover, the single month sales for September were at 111% of the same month the previous year, the biggest increase since August 2015. Summer campaigns that started from June, creating impressive experiences in the restaurants, attracted customers in existing locations, resetting the trend of customer numbers from 95% to 113% – about 18 points. A V-shaped recovery of the business is clearly indicated since the cooperation began in marketing, and steady growth has been achieved.

Innovating key industries of Japan with consumer-driven values

Key industries have long supported the nation of Japan, and we pour our know-how of consumer values into these industries. We aim to realize growth in Japan with these industries as a starting point.
In Japan many fields, such as finance, construction, manufacturing, and retail are crucial to sustaining the nation. All of these key fields have outstanding quality and abilities, yet show limited growth or even losses, due to their outmoded marketing strategies. The corporations in these industries are not adept at defining their products and services – in other words the “value for consumers” – and also lack the skills to communicate them. This lack of information and understanding means consumers cannot make the optimal decisions, leading to a negative chain of diminished demand.
Katana implements many projects to contribute to the activation of the Japanese economy and regrowth through innovation in these key industries.

Norinchukin Group Norinchukin Value Investments Co.,Ltd.

Introducing “marketing” to the finance industry, spreading “investment that is not venture”, and working together to enrich the Japanese people
Norinchukin Value Investments (NVIC) is an investment management division of the Norinchukin Group, which offers financial services to many people through group platforms such as JA Bank, and is working in cooperation with Katana to broaden opportunities, encouraging their customers to invest in carefully selected business as long-term rather than short-term “venture” deals. This helps to create portfolios of personal assets, meaning their goal is to help customers live a comfortable and assured life. Katana cooperated in the brand re-development of their trust investment Obune series, which has continued to grow under the policies of fund manager Kazushige Okuno, and now has seven times more accounts and 13 times more net assets (as of July 2021). We remain in cooperation towards further growth, not only through the advertisement of their products, but also the promotion of the idea of long-term investment and establishment of support for it, relating to the reduction of the deep-rooted “investment allergy” of Japanese people.

*as of July 2021

The finance industry has been protected by regulation for a long time, and has also long since abandoned the principle of “consumer first”, which is well established in other fields. It is often seen as existing solely to take fees for deals while leaving customers open to risk, and has led to limited information being given to consumers in order to maximize the profits of the institutions.
Our mission is to change this strange situation by promoting investment in a non-complicated way through the power of marketing, so consumers can take initiative and make simple choices. By doing so, we hope to bring investment back into the hands of consumers and make peoples’ lives richer.
If healthy investment activities become more widespread and anxiety is reduced for the future, people will consume more, leading to circulation in an active economy, and the fruits being shared by more people. More than half of the 1,800 trillion yen* of private financial assets in Japan lie in savings accounts**, while the percentage in asset management is less than a third of that in the US, and less than half of that of Europe***.
Compared to other countries, Japan does not have sufficient monetary circulation to encourage revitalization and growth in the economy, so if some of the assets lying in savings accounts can be moved to investments it is certain that the economic repercussions would not be small. Our efforts in this area will spread investment as the ideal form of a capitalist society and its real meaning, the starting point of a change to the current situation.

* and **: The Flow of Funds Accounts Statistics (the FFA) by the Bank of Japan, 2019 first quarter figures, released on 27 June 2019.
***: Advisory Panel on Stable Household Asset Formation, 2018
Obune is a trust fund of 27 carefully selected “structurally sturdy” US corporations that NVIC judges to be continuously profitable in the long-term. It is managed with the NVIC philosophy of “keeping stock of carefully chosen corporations that will not need to be sold for a long time.”

Online medical service: High Blood Pressure e-medical

From the first consultation, this service offers high blood pressure medical care that is conducted completely online, with no need for in-person visits. Contributing to the enhancement of healthy life expectancy with essential "long-term continuous treatment," this service significantly changes the structure of the industry.
This online consultation service specializes in the chronic diseases often resulting from high blood pressure. It operates online from the first session, and the “convenience of not having to go to the hospital,” combined with online prescriptions and continuous medical care through the application and home blood pressure monitor. The service offers the comfort of “being connected and receiving necessary care,” as a new option for long-term continuous treatment of high blood pressure, which is one of the greatest mortality risks facing Japanese people.

With its unique marketing know-how, Katana set up High Blood Pressure e-medical service, in collaboration with specialized partners with expertise, in order to provide the best consumer experience in the medical field.
Online medical service: High Blood Pressure e-medical
What can marketing do to create behavioral modifications for the longstanding, unresolved issues for many remaining "untreated or discontinuing treatment"?
High blood pressure is a major contributing factor to heart failure and cerebrovascular disease, the second and third biggest causes of death for Japanese people, after cancer. This means it is one of the greatest mortality risks, that affects almost one in every three Japanese people. However, out of 43 million people with high blood pressure symptoms, nearly 20 million leave it untreated or discontinue treatment. Despite the availability of effective medication and home blood pressure monitors, the percentage of untreated or discontinued cases has not improved in over 20 years, resulting in a “high blood pressure paradox.”
High Blood Pressure e-medical aims to solve this social issue by working on the improvement of waiting times at clinics, the inconvenience of in-person visits, and motivation for continuing treatment via behavior modification through marketing.
After launching in 2022, High Blood Pressure e-medical has continued to widen its operations through the following strategies:
・providing services for dyslipidemia; expanding coverage of chronic diseases (April 2023)
・introduction of the service as a corporate welfare program (April 2023)
・service is available as a supplemental option for medical insurance (June 2023)
・providing medical services under national health insurance (June 2023)
The company is continually expanding its range of services and usage scenarios through collaboration with other companies.

Reviving the economy of Japan through regional revitalization

Seibuen Amusement Park Renewal Project

Establishing a “brand of choice” from the consumers’ point of view, and leading to a successful reopening during the Covid pandemic.
Marking the 70th anniversary of the Seibuen Amusement Park, a renewal project was launched, aiming to bring back the liveliness that had once been cherished. From Seibuen as a starting point, the vision of the program is for different businesses in the Seibu group to coordinate to revitalize Tokorozawa and eventually the entire Kanto region, positioning Japan as a major tourist destination. Cooperating alongside the Chairman and Representative Director of Seibu Holdings Inc., Takashi Goto, Katana’s strong vision of the establishment of sustainable business in the area revitalizing the economy is being pursued. After a total investment of 10 billion yen, and approximately four years of examination and development starting in 2017, Seibuen reopened in May 2021.


Katana employed its consumer-oriented marketing know-how to Seibuen Amusement Park, which had not been “a brand of choice” With the concept of “overflowing with pure, unadulterated happiness”, the energetic and lively world of the 1960s was recreated, the theme park redefined as a place with a live feeling that continuously involves guests. It reached out with an emotional charm to the hearts of consumers in contemporary society where connections between people are less deep. Despite opening under the conditions of the Covid pandemic, Seibuen made a great recovery against the odds, and has attracted media attention through the nation.

During the renewal, Katana’s deep knowledge of entertainment development was fully utilized. Notably, the eye-catching attraction “Godzilla the Ride” made the most of the comprehensive planning experience of the Katana creative team to realize overwhelming astonishment and thrills. It has been enormously popular.

The success of Seibuen Amusement Park, achieved through consumer-oriented marketing, is giving courage to not only customer facilities but also various other businesses in the nation to regenerate and recover, and is fast becoming a role model for regional economics.

Cooperation with Nesta Resort Kobe

Formerly the Green Pia Miki Regeneration Project. Upon the introduction of Katana marketing, numbers of both visiting customers and sales increased by over 200% in just a year, evidencing a V-shaped recovery. What is more, it achieved its first operating profit during the Covid pandemic.The large-scale recreation center Green Pia Miki was created with the utilization of an enormous amount of funds derived from pensions in the 1980s, but later became a business failure. It was reopened as Nesta Resort Kobe in 2016 under a new owner who aims to contribute to the local economy. The new owner decided that a high level of marketing expertise was required to solidify the profitability of the consumer facility, and approached Katana for support.

The regional revitalization that Katana aims for centers on creating sustainable business in the area through the power of marketing as a spark for Japan’s activity. Green Pia Miki was an extremely difficult project of reconstruction that no one knew how to approach, yet it has become a precious asset for the region. Whether Green Pia Miki failed and ceased to exist, or if Katana’s know-how spurred a big turnaround and a sustainable business – what differences to the regional economy would these two potential paths effect? The significance of this project is seen through broadening the leisure options and enriching the lives of consumers in Kansai. Katana began cooperating in this regional revitalization project for the improvement of Hyogo, the home town of Morioka, in 2018.
It is a universal rule that consumers cannot choose a brand that has no image. How can one plan a brand to increase its rate of success – in other words, the rate at which customers in the long-term choose it? This is the unique know-how of Katana, and the forecast of the rate of success is a “Mathematical Marketing®” analysis which identifies the essential desires of consumers.

Katana redefined the brand positioning of Nesta Resort Kobe in the region with a high probability of success: it constructed a grand strategy to reposition it as an “adventure theme park in wild nature” that offers great excitement and stimulates human nature. It took an innovative approach, converting the existing profit structure that relied on guests staying at the hotel to one that concentrates on day-use guests.

Katana’s unique skills, such as knowledge of idea development to create powerful value in experiences while keeping operating costs low, communication development techniques to realize consumer recognition of efficient brand planning and brand equity, and the operational know-how to establish both guest satisfaction and efficiency were applied to this project as essential elements for the successful creation of consumer facilities.

Working hard with the staff on site at Nesta Resort Kobe, Katana’s cooperation put the facility on the path to a V-shaped recovery, realizing 207% of guests and 260% of sales in just one year. Moreover, during the Covid pandemic, “Adventure Canyon” – a huge new area – was opened, including exciting activities such as “Sky Eagle” and “Canyon Drop.” While it was a difficult period with the regional government requesting closure under the state of emergency, the courageous owner made the excellent decision to continue with the development and realize the opening. As a result, sales between September and December 2020 were 1.7 times higher than the corresponding period in the previous year. Operating profit (pre-depreciation) moved out of the red (in the December season of 2020), which was a long-awaited milestone.

The business and capital alliance with Nesta Resort Kobe has been terminated in October 2023.

Okinawa Theme Park Project

Regional revitalization is the creation of sustainable business in an area. For Japan and Okinawa, we want to establish a “point of change” for 50 years, attracting the fast-growing wealthy class of Asia and making Okinawa a top tourist destination in the region. Leading from this vision, Katana plans a theme park that is irresistible to customers and that supports SDGs and the solutions to various social issues in Okinawa while breathing new life into its economy. It engenders projects that will eventually contribute to the advancement of Japan’s tourism industry.
Okinawa Theme Park Project
In the past, Hawaii was not a touristic place. However, this “solitary island” in the Pacific Ocean, with barely any trading within three hours of travel was transformed into today’s tourist dream through the strategic investment of ambitious Americans in the 1960s. How about Okinawa? There are 260 million people living in Asia within three hours of the islands, a geographical advantage bordering on the miraculous, and tourist numbers have increased to the same levels as Hawaii. However, periods of stay and average spends per visitor still lag far behind. Okinawa needs more “tourist spots” and investment with greater ambition. Of course, one theme park will not change everything, but as demonstrated by Universal Studios Japan, which made a V-shaped recovery and drastically changed the economy of Kansai, one success facilitated by many people and their effort together can be the starting point of great change.

Working towards the development of a theme park in the north of Okinawa, Katana has established a preparation company, Japan Entertainment (CEO Takeshi Kato), as a promoter, working closely with Orion Breweries, Ryubo Holdings, Yugafu Holdings, Kintetsu Group Holdings and other companies. It has been registered as a designated business operator for a National Strategic Special Zone (June 2021), and concluded Comprehensive Partnership Agreements with Nago City and Nakijin Village (October 2020), illustrating the position of Katana as a top shareholder in the preparations, in coordination with the prefectural government, the northern regions of Okinawa, and related ministries. The theme park project is proceeding smoothly.

Leveraging marketing skills and knowledge built up in the entertainment field, we aim to lead this theme park to success as a sustainable business – one that fully extends the charm of Okinawan nature, acts as a catalyst for activity in the local economy, and eventually contributes to establishing Japan as a tourist country.

Nature Live's “Cuisine Glamping” is a groundbreaking approach to the glamping experience, elevating the culinary aspect of camping.

As one of Katana’s models of local revitalization, we have developed a cuisine glamping project, Nature Live, specializing in food experiences that allow cooking novices to “cook for themselves and eat” at the level of professional cuisine.

Nature Live is neither an expensive restaurant in the forest or a survival camp for confident campers, but a cuisine glamping experience that offers the opportunity to cook ideal outdoor cuisine yourself and dine well, even if you are a complete beginner. With our unique know-how, guests can cook sensitive ingredients that require precise temperature control and grilling, such as joints of meat, like a professional chef. “Cuisine” in French means “cooking” or “cooking method”, and this kind of glamping with such a focus on food has never been seen before in Japan.
Katana has created outstanding experiences at theme parks and developed various projects that enable us to realize the desires that consumers have for outdoor activities from their natural instincts and to offer them through our unique methods as valuable experiences.

We are creating sustainable businesses in many regions, and corresponding to the ideals of Katana – to contribute to local economic revitalization – we utilize idle or fallow land, polishing the charms of each area and communicating them though our Nature Live programs, and we hope to develop them throughout the nation.

About the first site: Nature Live Rokko
Limited to five groups a day, guests can use heat like a professional to grill hunks of meat!
The pinnacle of outdoor glamping is dining. It is not only a special outdoor eating experience with the ingredients of Rokko that only Nature Live can provide, it is also having exquisite views of Mt. Rokko, one of the most beautiful sights of Japan, all to yourself like a bird, allowing you to really feel at one with the grand nature. Other activities that stimulate the natural appetite for food or “cuisine” such as wood chopping and hand making desserts are also part of the experience.

Huis Ten Bosch Project: Regrowth by Brand Planning

Reconstructing the brand and extending the value of Huis Ten Bosch: One year after starting the new system with Katana, Huis Ten Bosch is on track for growth with an aggressive investment campaign based on the new branding, "A Different World of Aspiration."
Huis Ten Bosch, in Sasebo, Nagasaki, is the largest theme park in Kyushu. With its regrowth as a starting point, Katana commenced its branding and operational support for the park in October 2022, with the aim of revitalizing the Kyushu economy and, by extension, the Japanese economy.

Necessary for its re-growth, the brand was redesigned to create a "face" for Huis Ten Bosch that would be chosen by consumers. "A Different World of Aspiration" as a master strategy was developed to transform Huis Ten Bosch into a theme park that stimulates a sense of "opulence" and "luxuriating satisfaction" that consumers cannot experience in their daily lives or at other theme parks.
Huis Ten Bosch Project: Regrowth by Brand Planning
In the year since the new organization was formed, Katana has worked on improving the experience value of Huis Ten Bosch alongside the park’s staff. We have developed various high-quality entertainment, such as the “Spectacular Lantern Night Show”, “White Snow Fantasy”, and “Haunted Halloween,” all of which capitalizes on the amazing European setting of Huis Ten Bosch. In addition, the company has put in place a system and strategy for re-growth by successively introducing Katana's unique expertise in theme park operations, including the development of visitor-attraction communications, demand forecasting, and organizational development.

Huis Ten Bosch plans to invest tens of billions of yen to develop new areas and ride attractions on a large scale in the future. We aim to achieve further growth for Huis Ten Bosch and contribute to the economic revitalization of Japan, starting with Nagasaki.