The Foundation Built by the First President

HOME | english | The History of the Japan Butler Association | The Foundation Built by the First President

レンタル執事,rental butler,全日本執事協会,執事,japan

Japan Butler Association, Shingo Tanaka, Butler Culture Japan, Japanese Butler History, Butler Service Japan

Chapter One: The Day One Encounter Changed Destiny

The Encounter Between Shingo Tanaka and the British Gentleman

At the end of the Meiji era, a new wave of change was sweeping through Japanese culture. As Western influences were steadily introduced and people's lifestyles underwent significant transformations, one man's life began to take a dramatic turn. His name was Shingo Tanaka, who would later become the first president of the Japan Butler Association.


At that time, Tanaka was serving as the head manager of a well-known theater in Yokohama. Since the port's opening, Yokohama had embraced much of foreign culture, but Tanaka's job was far from easy. The theater faced tough financial challenges, and some actors disrupted the discipline. Tanaka worked tirelessly day by day to support his family.
One day, an English gentleman, in Yokohama to entertain business clients, visited the theater to watch a play. Tanaka was strongly captivated by this gentleman's elegant demeanor and poise. However, what truly caught his eye was the presence of the butler accompanying the gentleman.


The butler flawlessly attended to the gentleman's every need, always thinking ahead and acting proactively. Tanaka was deeply impressed by the butler's dedicated service. "This is what it truly means to serve," he thought, feeling a profound impact on his heart.

Japan Butler Association, Shingo Tanaka, Butler Culture Japan, Japanese Butler History, Butler Service Japan

Chapter Two: A Fateful Reunion

A New World Opened Through Conversations with the Butler

Afterward, Tanaka had the fortunate opportunity to meet the butler again. Initially struggling with the language barrier, he engaged in enthusiastic conversations using gestures and expressions, gradually building a unique bond of trust between them. The butler spoke in detail about the mindset of serving the master and the techniques of household management. Tanaka was captivated by these talks and began to understand the profoundness and dignity of the butler profession.


The butler shared his skills with Tanaka while demonstrating actual tasks. From the basics of table setting to the selection of wines and the techniques of polishing silver, the butler generously imparted his knowledge. Tanaka was impressed by the butler's graceful demeanor and meticulous attention to detail. "This is the true skill of a butler," he thought, envisioning his own future in the butler's image.


What left a particularly strong impression on him was the butler's role as a mental support for the master. "A butler reads the master's mind and sometimes understands unspoken thoughts," the butler explained. This statement was a revelation for Tanaka. Providing service on a deeper level than merely attending to daily needs was the ideal he aspired to.


Tanaka confided his situation to the butler: the financial difficulties of running a theater, the lack of discipline among actors, and the struggles of supporting his family. The butler listened attentively and offered words of encouragement. "Your hardships will surely become the driving force to open new paths." These words deeply resonated with Tanaka.

Japan Butler Association, Shingo Tanaka, Butler Culture Japan, Japanese Butler History, Butler Service Japan

Chapter Three: The First Butler Experience

Accompanying the British Gentleman's Party

One day, an English gentleman was invited to a party in Tokyo. He invited Tanaka to accompany him. Tanaka gladly accepted the offer and headed to the venue with the gentleman on the day of the party.


At the party venue, the butler's true capabilities shone. The butler assisted the gentleman in removing his coat, offered drinks, and provided attentive care throughout the evening. While the gentleman engaged in conversations with other guests, the butler stood discreetly behind, ready to offer subtle support when needed. Tanaka was deeply impressed by the butler's elegant and seamless actions, recognizing the expertise involved.


During the party, the gentleman introduced Tanaka to the other guests. Tanaka, using the manners he had learned from the gentleman and the butler, conducted himself politely and respectfully. The guests seemed to have a favorable impression of him. By the end of the party, Tanaka felt a sense of fulfillment and great accomplishment.


This experience would significantly change Tanaka's life. "I want to train butlers in Japan who can provide such high-quality service." This thought began to take root in his heart.

Japan Butler Association, Shingo Tanaka, Butler Culture Japan, Japanese Butler History, Butler Service Japan

Chapter Four: The Journey to Establishing the "Butler Association

Making Ideals a Reality

A few weeks after the party, Tanaka bid farewell to the English gentleman. However, the fire of passion ignited in his heart never faded. "I want to create a new service that combines Japanese culture with Western butler techniques." With this determination, Tanaka decided to establish the "Butler Association."


The journey was not easy. It began with gathering like-minded companions. Tanaka passionately spoke to his acquaintances and friends, gradually increasing the number of supporters. He also shared the skills he had learned from the English butler with his companions, engaging in daily practice and improvement together.


Among the initial members of the Butler Association were individuals who would later become the second president and the grandfather of the current third president. They were all drawn to Tanaka's passion and gathered as pioneers to establish butler culture in Japan.


After much hardship, in 1890, at the young age of 20, Tanaka founded the "Butler Association" (now the Japan Butler Association). Tanaka became the association's first president, dedicating himself entirely to training butlers and providing service. The early days were filled with trial and error, but thanks to Tanaka's passion and the dedication of his companions, the association gradually gained recognition. Their services, initially offered to the wealthy, became widely talked about and attracted attention nationwide.

Japan Butler Association, Shingo Tanaka, Butler Culture Japan, Japanese Butler History, Butler Service Japan

Chapter Five: Shingo Tanaka's Legacy

The Man Who Laid the Foundation of Japan's Butler Culture

Decades have passed since Tanaka founded the "Butler Association." Today, the association has established itself as Japan's leading provider of butler services. Tanaka's ideals have been brilliantly realized.


In 1960, fifteen years after World War II, during a period of rapid economic recovery and growth in Japan, Tanaka decided to retire at the age of 90. To pass on the experience and knowledge he had accumulated over many years of service, he dedicated himself to training the next generation.


After Tanaka's retirement, the Butler Association faced a temporary crisis of division, but that is another story. Details about the second and third presidents will be covered on a separate page.


Looking back, it all began with an encounter with an English gentleman. That fateful day changed Tanaka's life. It is no exaggeration to say that his passion and dedication laid the foundation for Japan's butler culture.
The story of Shingo Tanaka is the trajectory of a man who pursued his ideals and brought a new culture to life. Carrying on his legacy and further developing Japan's butler culture is perhaps our mission today.


[Butler Trivia]

Shingo Tanaka, who became the first president of the Japan Butler Association, was called "President" because he had held the role of overseeing the backstage operations of a theater before founding the Butler Association. At that time, people around him referred to him as "President," and this title was carried over into the Butler Association.

レンタル執事,rental butler,全日本執事協会,執事,japan
Contact Us