One of three key figures in the founding of Teijin. Kaneko was a head-clerk at Suzuki Shoten, one of Japan’s largest trading companies at the time. He saw the promise of Kumura and Hata’s rayon research at an early stage and provided funding that contributed greatly to the establishment of Teijin.
One of three key figures in the founding of Teijin. A student at the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Department of Applied Chemistry, Kumura began investigating viscose as a material for rayon in 1904. Thoroughly dedicated to the establishment and practical application of rayon manufacturing technology, he later became the president of Teijin.
One of three key figures in the founding of Teijin. Hata was a professor at Yonezawa Higher Industrial School in Yonezawa City (now the Yamagata University Faculty of Engineering) when he began researching rayon manufacture. With the cooperation of Seita Kumura, an alumnus of the school, and assistance from Itsuzo Hata for with research expenses, Hata spared no effort in establishing Teijin as a company.
An MIT graduate known even among the entrepreneurs at Suzuki Shoten as their “Ace.” As Teijin’s first president, he led the company through what today would be called its startup phase.
Yonezawa City in Yamagata was the site of Teijin’s first factory and the birthplace of Japan’s artificial fiber industry. In 1971, a commemorative monument was erected in honor of Teijin’s 50th anniversary. The site offers a view of the entire former site of Japan’s first rayon factory (now home to Yonezawa Daisan Junior High School) and is still famed as the point of origin for chemical fibers as an industry in Japan.
Teijin’s Iwakuni factory appeared with astonishing speed. Construction began on August 1, 1925, was completed on October 29, 1926, and production started on February 1, 1927. This development was driven by surging demand for rayon as Japan’s modernization advanced.
Shinzo Oya was appointed president of Teijin in November 1945. He then entered politics, serving in positions including Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of Transportation. Later, in response to pleas from Teijin insiders and others to save the company from the rocky straits it found itself in after 1951, Oya returned to the position of company president in 1956.
Teijin introduced the technology for PET (polyethylene-terephthalate) film manufacture from Imperial Chemical Industries in the United Kingdom, and soon become the first company in the world to successfully commercialize PEN (polyethylene-naphthalate) film. This initiative would eventually result in the formation of a seven-country joint venture with DuPont in 2000 followed by the launch of a wholly-owned subsidiary, Teijin Film Solutions.
Established October 1960 in Hino City, Tokyo, as a base for research and development. Known since its founding for its cutting-edge facilities and the intense focus of its researchers, today the Tokyo Research Center is largely dedicated to medical and pharmaceutical research.
After Teijin acquired the rights and technology to manufacture polyester from Imperial Chemical Industries in 1957, its Tetoron product proved so popular that even expanding manufacturing to Matsuyama, Tokuyama, and Iwakuni in Japan could not satisfy demand. The 1967 founding of Teijin Tetoron in Thailand was the solution. Today known as Teijin Polyester (Thailand) Limited, the company overcome the 2011 Thailand floods and many other challenges to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017.
Building on its R&D experience in synthetic and high-polymer chemistry, in 1973 Teijin entered the pharmaceutical business with the challenging goal of developing new products from the ground up.
Teijin’s oxygen concentrator development began as a practical application of the oxygen enrichment membranes it had been developing since the early 1970s. In 1982, the company received approval to manufacture membrane-type oxygen concentrators for medical use, and Japan’s first home healthcare business was born.
Twaron is an aramid fiber first marketed in June 1985 in the Netherlands. In February 2001, Teijin bought the Twaron business from Acordis and relaunched it as Teijin Twaron B.V. (now Teijin Aramid). These photographs show spinning operations in the early days of the business and the Emmen factory, the largest Aramid production center in the world.
Completed in 2005, TPC was China’s first polycarbonate plant. Expectations were high for the facility, and the optimistic mood is palpable from these photos of the Completion Ceremony, a major event attended by a range of people with connections to the project.
Early in the 1970s, Teijin launched a Future Business division to help it diversify into new fields. One of these was pharmaceuticals, which the company has since developed into one of its most important businesses.
The company’s in-house development of a remedy for hyperuricemia/gout was a particularly significant success. A commemorative plaque was installed at the entrance to the laboratory where the remedy was first synthesized to thank the researchers for their years of determined effort.