On Monday, June 6, 1921(Taisho 10), Teppei Soma, a famous wealthy merchant in Hokkaido, passed away. He was 88 years old. He was born in 1833 (Tenpo 4). He was born in Araihama, Kanbara-gun, Echigo Province (currently Tainai City). Teppei was born as the second son of Kumajiro Soma, who owned a wooden Japanese boat and ran a boat transport business. In 1861, at the age of 28, he moved to Hakodate, Hokkaido, where he was employed by Shunzo Iwafuneya, a native of the same town who was already doing business in Hakodate, and distinguished himself by serving as a live-in servant.
3 years later, in 1864, Teppei SOMA became independent as a rice dealer. He made a fortune by speculating on rice during the Hakodate War in 1868. Making use of the funds to enter the financial industry. He also served as president of Hakodate Savings Bank and 113 Bank, contributing to the development of the region. In 1918, he became a member of the House of Lords as a large taxpayer. Today, Teppei’s private residence, built in 1908 (Meiji 41), remains near the Hakodate Public Hall and is open to the public as the Old Soma House.