Investor Relations

The History of Nippon Kayaku Group

Nippon Kayaku has contributed the best produ cts meeting the needs of the times to society while integrating and evolving core technologies.

Nippon Kayaku Seizo Co., Ltd., the predecessor of the Nippon Kayaku Group,was established as Japan’s first private industrial explosives manufacturer in 1916 after World War I led to delays in the import and severe shortages of dynamite used for mining coal, the staple energy resource at the time.
Teikoku Senryo Seizo Co., Ltd. was established the same year to domesticate production of synthetic dyes, 90% of which were dependent on imports at the time. It was subsequently found that an intermediate products for synthetic dyes could be applied to pharmaceutical drugs, and Yamakawa Seiyaku Co., Ltd. was therefore established in 1931 and succeeded in producing the analgesic anti-inflammatory drug, ASPIRIN, in Japan for the first time.
 As employees were mobilized and resources became scarce at the later stages of the Pacific War, these three companies, which derived from the same founding group, merged and were absorbed into Nippon Kayaku Seizo Co., Ltd. in 1943 to overcome these difficulties. This formed the cornerstones of the current business: explosives, dyes, and pharmaceuticals. The company name was subsequently changed to current name of Nippon Kayaku Co., Ltd. after the war in December 1945, relaunching the Company as an integrated chemical manufacturer.


Founded Nippon Kayaku Seizo Co., Ltd. and became the first company in Japan to produce dynamite for industrial use the next year

Commemoration of the first production run of Yamazakura dynamite


Established Teikoku Senryo Seizo Co., Ltd. and succeeded in producing sulphur black dye in Japan

Teikoku Senryo advertisement


Established Yamakawa Seiyaku Co., Ltd. and launched sale of the first ASPIRIN produced in Japan the next year


Began production of CHLOROPICRIN, an insecticide, antimicrobial, and soil fumigant


Yasusaburo Hara became the third company president


Merged and absorbed Teikoku Senryo Seizo Co., Ltd. and Yamakawa Seiyaku Co., Ltd.


Company name changed to Nippon Kayaku Co., Ltd.

The post-war period of economic recovery spurred the construction of hydroelectric power plants to supply energy and this resulted in dramatic growth in explosives production volume. The antibiotic PENICILLIN also became the centerpiece of the pharmaceuticals business, and efforts to disseminate it contributed to the treatment and eradication of communicable diseases.
 The coal industry, which had supported the recovery, declined during the subsequent period of high growth, ushering in a new age of revolution in energy derived mainly from oil and natural gas. Demand for explosives shifted to the public works business for building infrastructure such as high-speed railways and expressways. The domestic textile industry entered its golden age around that time and the dyes business for synthetic fiber also expanded.
 The anti-cancer drug BLEO™ was also launched in the pharmaceuticals business.
 Yasusaburo Hara, the third company president, established the corporate motto of “Combined forces of our consciences, Ceaseless progress, Best products,” in 1962 when the Company nominated itself for the Deming Prize and dedicated itself to quality control. The award of the Deming Application Prize to Nippon Kayaku the next year and the subsequent continuance of TQC (Total Quality Control) activities contributed greatly to the destruction of the status quo and modernization of the Company. That spirit has been handed down to the present as the KAYAKU spirit, our corporate vision.


Began production of the antibiotic, PENICILLIN


Listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange


Launched sales of KAYARUS direct dyes


Developed fluorescent dyes


Began producing active ingredient for the insecticide, DIAZINON


Launched sales of C-type instantaneous electric detonators


Received the Okochi Memorial Production Prize for production of the initiating explosive, DDNP


Established corporate motto

Corporate motto written in calligraphy by third president, Yasusaburo Hara


Awarded Deming Application Prize

Deming medal


Began production of epoxy resins


Launched sales of an anti-cancer drug, BLEO™


Began manufacturing catalysts used in the production of Acrylic acid

The Company undertook a major reorganization to respond to changes engendered by the oil crisis in the 1970s and introduced four divisions: The explosives business, the dyes business, the pharmaceuticals business, and the agrochemicals business. Nippon Kayaku subsequently overcame trials by shrinking mature businesses, streamlining, and actively investing in the pharmaceuticals business and other areas that could promise growth.
 In 1980, the corporate vision was defined as “be a company that safeguards human life and health, and continuously contributes to the human race with products and technologies that support a rich cultured lifestyle.” The Company subsequently successfully evolved the dyes business into the chemicals business, and succeeded in applying explosive technologies to the development air bag inflators, which led to the safety systems business, thereby integrating and evolving core technologies to create new businesses and products that could meet the needs of the times continuously.


Began production of UV-curable resins, DPHA


Launched sales of an anti-cancer drug, RANDA™


Established corporate logo


Established POLATECHNO CO., LTD., a manufacturer of polarizing film


Began mass production of airbag inflators




Established Wuxi Advanced Chemical Co., Ltd.


Began mass production of micro gas generators


Invested capital in INDET SAFETY SYSTEMS a.s. (Czech Republic)


Began production of colorants for inkjet printers

The corporate vision of the KAYAKU spirit of “Continuously providing society with the best products through ceaseless progress and the combined forces of our consciences” was set forth as the goal for corporate activities in 2007, based on the corporate motto developed in 1962. This “responding to the demands of society and contributing” is the spirit that has been handed down since the Company began.
 In recent years, environmentally-friendly epoxy resins have been developed to meet the increasing need for environmental protection in the functional chemicals business. Nippon Kayaku has evolved the technologies we have cultivated since our founding as a pioneer in the fine chemicals business through the global expansion of the safety systems business as the need for automotive safety components expanded globally, and through the launch of biosimilars which promise to contribute to society by lowering the cost of healthcare. We will contribute to society and achieve steady growth as a global “Smart Chemicals Company” by providing the best products needed in each era.




Began production of halogen-free environmentally-friendly epoxy resins, NC-3000


Established Kayaku Safety Systems (Huzhou) Co., Ltd.


Established Kayaku Safety Systems de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.


Released KAYAKU spirit


Launched Kayaku Japan Co., Ltd.


Made a capital investment in MicroChem Corp. (U.S.)


Established Kayaku Safety Systems Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.


Began sale of Japan’s first monoclonal antibody biosimilar, INFLIXIMAB BS


Moved head office to the Meiji Yasuda Seimei Bldg. in Marunouchi


100th anniversary of the founding of Nippon Kayaku


Developed the new types of inflators

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Nippon Kayaku Commemorating 100 Years of Sukima Ideas

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