Yusaku Maezawa was born in Japan's eastern Chiba prefecture in 1975.

5歳の時にすでに8段飛んでたらしい笑。 When I was 5 years old. This is not Donald Judd😁

A post shared by Yusaku Maezawa (@yusaku2020) on Mar 16, 2018 at 3:44pm PDT

 

He started an indie rock group called Switch Style, and released an EP in 1995.

Switch Style Yusaku Maezawa,
Screenshot/Youtube

He went by the stage name YOU X SUCK and played the drums. 

He had a passion for collecting CD's and records, and began a CD and record mail-order business in 1995.

飛行機の中でカラオケ大熱唱。 Karaoke in airplane. #ゆず #夏色

A post shared by Yusaku Maezawa (@yusaku2020) on Mar 18, 2017 at 6:10pm PDT

He decided early on that he did not want to become a white-collar worker in Japan "after seeing all the tired faces on my morning commutes." 

Source: The Daily Beast

In 1998, he launched a company called Start Today Inc.

#社員総会 #starttoday

A post shared by Yusaku Maezawa (@yusaku2020) on Apr 1, 2016 at 10:21pm PDT

Start Today is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and Maezawa owns about 38% of the company.

The company's market cap was $7.2 billion as of July 2017.

Source: Forbes

After announcing a hiatus from music, his company moved to an online platform and began selling clothing.

WEARはじまりました!

A post shared by Yusaku Maezawa (@yusaku2020) on Oct 31, 2013 at 12:08am PDT

His companies, which include online clothing retailers Zozotown and Wear, are among Japan’s largest.

 

He's an avid art collector.

He owns an impressive collection of works by artists like Pablo Picasso, Yayoi Kusama, Richard Prince, and Jeff Koons.

In May 2017, Maezawa broke records by paying $110.5 million for a 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat called Untitled — the largest amount ever paid for at auction for a US artist.

He wrote on Instagram of his purchase: 

"I am happy to announce that I just won this masterpiece. When I first encountered this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art. I want to share that experience with as many people as possible."

Source: Christie's

Meazawa was inspired to bring artists with him to space after thinking about the art Basquiat might have created had he flown through space.

"One day when I was staring at his painting, I thought, 'What if Basquiat had gone to space and had seen the moon — what wonderful masterpiece would he have created?" Maezawa said.

He is the 18th richest person in Japan.

breakfast meeting with Jack Dorsey

A post shared by Yusaku Maezawa (@yusaku2020) on Mar 10, 2018 at 8:01am PST

His net worth is estimated to be worth about $3 billion, and is well connected in the tech world. 

Source: Forbes

He is preparing to embark on one of the most elaborate space missions to date.

Elon Musk has described Maezawa as incredibly brave, and said his desire to participate in and pay for this trip restored Musk's faith in humanity.

"This is going to be dangerous. This is no walk in the park," Musk said of the mission.

He added:  "It's not 100% certain that we succeed in getting this to flight ... But we're going to do everything humanly possible to bring it to flight as fast as we can and as safely as we can."