by Antonio V. Figueroa
OHTA KYOZABURO (K.S. Ohta), the first Japanese to own an abaca plantation in Davao was born in Hyogo, Japan in February 1876. He established the Ohta Development Company, the first Japanese hemp company in the Philippines, on May 3, 1907. He also founded Mintal Plantation Company, Riverside Plantation Company, Talomo River Plantation Company, Guianga Plantation Company, and MIntal Hospital. Instrumental in Davao’s economic growth and prosperity, the Ohta Kyozaburo Monument, an obelisk still found in Mintal, was built in his memory in 1926. He died in Kyoto, Japan on October 31, 1917 at age 41.