Zaibatsu (zye-BAHT-soo) is a large and powerful Japanese business conglomerate, especially in banking. The word is based on the Japanese word for money ("zai") and clan ("batsu").
After Meiji Restoration of 1868, Japan saw the rise of several large business enterprises. These enterprises expanded during World War I. Each zaibatsu typically had a single family in control. The Allies ended the zaibatsus after World War II, but many of the individual companies that were part of the zaibatsu continued to survive.