KOKUYO's Chronicle ~ Over a Century of Creativity

1. The early years (1905-1917)

KOKUYO was founded in 1905. Founder Kuroda Zentarō, who was 26 years old at the time, opened a shop in Minami-Horie, Nishi-ku, Ōsaka, selling covers for Japanese-style account ledgers. This consisted of being contracted by wholesalers to produce covers for Japanese-style account ledgers commonly used at that time. The cover was only 5% of the entire cost of an account ledger, so one could say it wasn't a very lucrative business, if one considers the importance of the cover in shaping the overall impression created by the product. But the founder's conviction was that "as long as we do something that will be of use to people, we will definitely be accepted". He believed in steadily expanding his business, one step at a time, from manufacturing to integrated production of account ledgers and covers, until people were saying that the only ledger covers they wanted were Kuroda's. As the Meiji Era became the Taishō Era, ordinary Japanese became more and more influenced by the West. Account ledgers also changed from conventional single-entry account bookkeeping to Western-style double-entry account bookkeeping, and the demand for Western-style account ledgers increased. KOKUYO envisaged these changes and began selling Western-style account ledgers in 1913. It also began the manufacturing of items such as vouchers, invoices, carbon duplication account ledgers and writing paper, gradually emerging as paper product manufacturer.

1905
Kuroda Zentarō opens the Kuroda Shop in Horie, Nishi-ku, Ōsaka, selling covers for Japanese-style account ledgers.
Manufacturing of covers for Japanese-style account ledgers begins.

KOKUYO's Historical Accounts

1908
Start of Japanese-style account ledgers manufacturing

KOKUYO's Historical Accounts

1913
Transition to ready-made Western-style account ledgers begins.

KOKUYO's Historical Accounts

1914
The shop is renamed "Kuroda Kokkōdō".
Manufacturing of vouchers, invoices, carbon duplication account ledgers, and writing paper begins.
1917
The Kujō exclusive plant is set up and the brand name "KOKUYO" is selected for a production system of Western-style account ledgers required by the contract work system.
  • The first logoThe first logo
  • Western-style bookWestern-style book
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