|born on||9 October 1938 at 12:45 (= 12:45 PM )|
|Place||Tokyo, Japan, 35n42, 139e46|
|Timezone||JST h9e (is standard time)|
|Astrology data||15°12' 12°12 Asc. 14°26'|
Japanese businessman, former CEO of Benihana restaurants, a one-time Olympic wrestler and an adventurer.
The son of a Vaudeville performer, Aoki pioneered "eatertainment" in his Benihana Japanese-style steakhouses, where chefs juggle knives and throw food into the air with a flourish. To attract attention, he flew around in a helium balloon shaped like a Benihana chef and raced Benihana speedboats with bright red markings. He created the Benihana chain in Manhattan, NY in 1964 using earnings from a summer’s sales of soft-serve ice cream.
In 1989 he was sued by shareholders of Benihana for taking advantage of his publicly held restaurants to benefit his privately held company which also owned restaurants under the same name. The suit was settled two years later with an agreement to get separate bids for services and the two companies combined under one holding company. Aoki sold all but one of his 18 U.S. restaurants to the holding company in 1995.
Another brush with the law in May 1998 did not turn out so well for Aoki. He was investigated for insider trading. In an attempt to prevent harm to Benihana, he stepped down as CEO, but still owns 51% of the company through trusts. The board kept him on as a consultant at an annual fee of $500,000. He pleaded guilty to the charges and faced a likely sentence of 12 to 18 months in jail and up to $1 million in fines.
Aoki leads a freewheeling, adventurous life including treasuring hunts, boat racing, and attempting to salvage the Sindia, which sunk off the coast of Ocean City, New Jersey in 1901. An avid hot-air balloonist, he and Ben Abruzzo were the first pair to cross the Atlantic in 1981 and the world-recorder holder for distance with hot-air balloon in 1987.
- Financial : Investments 1964 (Started Benihana in New York)
- Work : Great Achievement 1981 (First pair crossing of Atlantic in hot-air balloon)
- Work : Gain social status 1987 (World record holder for distance in hot-air balloon)
Lynn Palmer quotes him.
- Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Financial success in field
- Vocation : Business : Consultant (At a half million a year)
- Vocation : Business : Entrepreneur
- Vocation : Food and Beverage : Restaurateur (Benihana restaurant chain: ice-cream)
- Vocation : Sports : Wrestling (Olympic contender)
- Vocation : Travel : Adventurer (Hot-air ballooning)
- Vocation : Travel : Explorer (Salvage operation)
- Notable : Awards : Vocational award (World record holder hot-air ballooning)