The history of Ishikawa Paper Goods
Here we introduce our history for more than one century.
The spirit of Toitsu Furuta who loved his hometown, Mino
We cannot tell our company's history without story of Toitsu Furuta, who was father of the company's founder, Doshun Ishikawa. He was instrumental in reclaiming land and flood control for Mino city.
The clear waters of the Nagara River nurtured the industry known as "Mino Washi," but the people living in the basin had a history of battling against floods. In 1876, Toitsu Furuta worked with three of his comrades to plan and implement a reclamation of land around the Nagara river in order to save people from these struggles. He established Kyonosha company as a business to handle this matter and appointed himself president. The reclamation project around the Nagara river was frustrated again and again by floods and the Nobi earthquake, but Toitsu Furuta never gave up. He used his own property for these projects and finally succeeded in constructing the Dozuka embankment on the river over the periods of 15 years. It must have been a difficult decision for him to give up his son, Doshun, to be adopted by the Ishikawa family when he ran into financial difficulties partway through the project. What supported him through many trials and difficulties was surely his love of his hometown, his ceaseless desire to take on challenges, and his spirit of altruism.
The spirit of Toitsu Furuta, who never gave up in his work for the people and loved his hometown, became our indomitable spirit today, driving us to faithfully work toward what we believe in.
Establishing a Japanese paper-making materials seller - Doshun Ishikawa's challenge
Ishikawa Paper Goods Ltd. was founded in 1902 by Doshun Ishikawa, an adopted son of the Ishikawa family that manufactured Mino Washi Japanese paper. Having founded the company at the young age of 17, Doshun expanded his business to include not only the manufacture of Mino Washi Japanese paper, but the nationwide sales of paper-making materials, such as Ganpi (a bark of flowering plant) and Nebeshi (a kind of hibiscus). He joined the Yuseigumi (a group of influential people in the Mino Washi Japanese paper-making industry formed between the Meiji era and Showa era), and then served as the president of the National Paper Materials Union. Doshun also contributed to his hometown, Mino, in his 20 years as a councilor of the Mino town council. He was able to succeed in the Mino Washi business thanks to his strong entrepreneurship, his love of his hometown and the indomitable spirit of Toitsu Furuta.
This is Japanese Paper!” Mimeograph Printing Paper elevated great reputation of Mino Washi Japanese paper
Shigeru Ishikawa, the second-generation president of Ishikawa Paper Goods Ltd., worked to develop the Japanese paper-making materials business his father Doshun had created. In order to survive the controlled economy during the Second World War and postwar eras, he started to develop a new business making paper for metal printing in 1946. Shigeru Ishikawa was a great craftsman who had strong enthusiasm for research, fogetting food and sleep to improve the quality of his products. As mimeographs proliferated, he developed the company's own metal printing paper brand, "Queen Heart." With the convenience of multi-colored printing and great durability to withstand over 4,000 printings, "Queen Heart" was used by many printers and the factory ultimately succeeded in getting certified as a designated Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) factory.
The way to a Mino Washi Japanese paper goods and Japanese accessory manufacturer
Ishikawa Paper Goods Ltd. established a strong position selling Japanese paper-making materials and manufacturing mimeograph printing paper, but with the advent of chemical raw materials, typewriters, and copy machines, it became necessary to expand into new business. As the third-generation president, Michimasa Ishikawa found a new way forward for Ishikawa Paper Goods Ltd. He established a Japanese goods manufacturing department to produce stationery and souvenirs made with Mino Washi Japanese paper. For the Discover Japan tourism boom in the 1970s, sales of our Japanese paper goods and Japanese accessories grew steadily. From this opportunity, we developed original products to utilize our company's technology as a pioneer in Japan's new Japanese goods processing sector. Around 1975, the company was reborn from the paper-making materials and the mimeograph printing paper businesses of the past into Mino Washi Japanese paper goods and Japanese accessories manufacturer of today.
For our future
In 2006, the fifth-generation president, Michihiro Ishikawa, found opportunities to evolve further, not content to rest on the laurels of the company's century of history and tradition. Those included strengthening ideas for marketing in dramatically changing times and creating products to be enjoyed by more customers including customers abroad. In November 2014, Honminoshi Japanese paper was registered with UNESCO as intangible world cultural heritage and Japanese Washi paper attracted attention from around the world. Inquiries about our company's Mino washi Japanese paper goods have increased in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. However, our spirit fostered throughout our long history will remain unchanged. For the future, Ishikawa Paper Goods Ltd. will continue to "Present Heart of Japan" with our kawaii (cute) products from Mino City to the world.
|1902||Doshun Ishikawa, the founding president, established a Japanese paper-making materials selling company. It was the core of the Mino Washi Japanese paper industries dealing in Ganpi and Nebeshi (sources of plant fiber for paper). He serves the industry and the town as president of the National Ganpi Union, a councilor of the Mino town council, and as a councilor of the Chamber of Commerce.|
|1941||The company takes advantage of its paper-making technology to start research, development, and production of Metal Printing Paper in addition to materials sales. As mimeographs spread, Metal Printing Paper developed into Mimeograph Printing Paper, and the company started sales of its "Queen Heart" brand products.|
|1949||The company was reorganized as a corporation. The factory was certified as a designated Japan Industrial Standards (JIS) factory.|
|1957||Shigeru Ishikawa became the second-generation president. The company established educational materials department and a Japanese paper and craft department in 1967.|
|1982||Michimasa Ishikawa became the third-generation president. A Japanese goods manufacturing department was established with the corporate philosophy to "Present Heart of Japan!"|
|1995||The managing director became the fourth-generation president as Michimasa Ishikawa was inaugurated as mayor of Mino city. Michimasa Ishikawa serves as mayor of Mino for 18 years and 5 months. He was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Mino city and the Order of the Rising Sun of Japan.|
|2001||The company began to exhibit at the Tokyo International Gift Show. Original Japanese goods made with Mino Washi Japanese paper gain high acclaim. Sales grow nationwide.|
|2006||Michihiro Ishikawa became the fifth-generation president. The company's business expands to Japanese accessories, including Mino Washi Japanese paper goods.|
|2014||The brand of Mino Washi Japanese paper goods is strengthened through activities such as starting development of products for foreign tourists.|
|2015||Sales network expands to all 47 prefectures in Japan. "Iki-iki Tsushin," the monthly magazine of our company celebrated its 30th anniversary.|