||A year later, after Okamoto had obtained approval and funding from numerous sponsors, he established Hinode (meaning the rising sun) Life. As an executive director, he was entrusted with full management authority. Devoting himself to keeping the companys management on an even keel and always placing the welfare of the policyholders first, he proved to be an excellent manager. Hinode Life recorded profits after its first year and started paying dividends from its second. Okamoto worked hard to keep costs down and to steadily increase cash flow, and Hinode Life came to be praised as the diamond of the industry, thought it was never a major one.
There was no end to Okamotos prudence. During the depression that followed World War I, when many companies were going bankrupt, Okamoto began to think to himself, a small company like Hinode Life needs to merge with a larger one, or entrust its management to an experienced manager with deep pockets to protect itself from economic turbulence.
In 1921, he entrusted the management of Hinode Life to a wealthy investor from his home town. This person received financing from Sumitomo Bank for the purchase of Hinode Life stock and also intended to consolidate all his other loans from other institutions at Sumitomo Bank. The resulting relationship eventually led to Hinode Lifes management passing to Sumitomo.