social

Domestic contribution activities

Basic Concepts

KOKUYO strives to be a trusted corporate citizen on both regional and national levels via proactive interaction and planning with regional communities, while respecting regional culture and customs and encouraging their advancement.

2019 Initiatives

  1. â–Ľ KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2020 Held with “♡” as the Theme
  2. â–Ľ Providing the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games with Field
    Notebooks for 80,000 Tokyo 2020 Volunteers

  3. â–Ľ Booth at SHIBUYA BOSAI FES 2019
  4. â–Ľ KOKUYO Team Run Flat-out at ISU-1GP Held across Japan
  5. â–Ľ Campus Art Award 2019, a Painting Competition for Junior High and High School Students
  6. â–Ľ The Job Study Initiative
  7. â–Ľ Local Cleanup Activities and Blood Donation
  8. â–Ľ General Participants of Factory Tours at KOKUYO Product Shiga Exceeded 5,000
  9. â–Ľ Gathering in Sendai of the MICHINOKU Future Fund That Helps Orphans Continue Their
    Education

  10. â–Ľ KOKUYO Kitakanto Sales Became Official Supplier of the 77th National Sports Festival and
    22nd National Sports Festival for People with an Impairment

  11. â–Ľ Held Event for Employees of Public Offices to Experience Telecommuting
  12. â–Ľ Deaf students from Shanghai visit KOKUYO Commerce (Shanghai)’s notebook factory
  13. â–Ľ Chasing Big Dreams with Small Notebooks!
  14. â–Ľ Mini Science Centres Opened at Schools Near KOKUYO Camlin’s Plants
  15. â–Ľ Improvement to Project Nanhi Kali Supporting Underprivileged Girls
  16. â–Ľ Art Activity Support for Injured Soldiers at Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre

KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2020 Held with “♡” as the Theme

KOKUYO Design Award 2018 with Beyond Boundaries Theme

The Grand Prix: “Somewhere, Sometime,” the pencil with a past.

The KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD is a competition that calls for product designs that will create new value in working, learning, and living environments, with the aim of launching them as commercial products. Ever since its founding in 2002, the KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD has been seeking designs that create new value for KOKUYO and society as a whole.

This was the 17th iteration of the award, and “♡” is the theme. The interpretation of “♡” was intentionally left unspecified with the priority on encouraging entrants to unleash their creativity and inspiration, leaving it up to the contestants to translate and understand it in their own way. By doing so, we hoped to receive amazing works possessing charm and power that would move people's hearts on an intuitive level.

The Grand Prix selected from a total of 1,377 designs received from 55 countries all around the world (771 from Japan, 606 from abroad) is “Somewhere, Sometime,” the pencil with a past. Through proposing a pencil that uses building materials from demolished buildings such as schools and stores as well as scrap wood from furniture, it creates a story that draws out the imagination of users and poses a question to our consumer society. Its concept that the quality of an object—such as its feel and the way it writes that comes from its utilization of used materials—increases the value of recycling was highly rated. Many of the works, including the Grand Prix work, selected as finalists were proposals that seriously faced the social background of “Why was this created?” even more than previous years. The results gave a sense of the times.

KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD home page >

Providing the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games with Field Cast Notebooks for 80,000 Tokyo 2020 Volunteers

Providing the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games with Field Cast Notebooks for 80,000 Tokyo 2020 Volunteers

Cover and inside cover of the Field Cast Notebook

As an Official Supporter (Office Furniture & Stationery) of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, KOKUYO provided the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games with original Campus Note notebooks for use by 80,000 volunteers—known as Field Cast—as an activity to exemplify our wish to support the people who are taking on new challenges through our stationery and tools. The Field Cast Notebook uses colors based on the same azure color as the volunteers’ uniforms and adopts a checkered design used in the Tokyo 2020 emblems. The original design for the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee on its cover features the Field Cast logo together with the Tokyo 2020 emblems. The notebook has incorporated various ingenuities so that volunteers, who come from different generations and nations, can note down memories for a lifetime.

KOKUYO sees the preparation period before the actual event as being of the same importance as the actual Games and will work to further enliven the event.

Booth at SHIBUYA BOSAI FES 2019

Booth at SHIBUYA BOSAI FES 2019

Bag toilets printed using Shibuya fonts

Through internal collaboration transcending departmental boundaries, KOKUYO participated with a booth at the SHIBUYA BOSAI FES 2019 which was held from August 31 to September 1 at Yoyogi Park and organized by Shibuya-ku. In preparing the booth, relevant parties gave ideas under the theme “Disaster prevention & persons with disabilities,” and during the actual event, bag toilets printed using Shibuya fonts* were given out, and visitors to the booth were given explanations about how to provide support to disabled persons during disasters. Today, people with and without disabilities work in the same office, leading to new activities as KOKUYO’s disaster prevention business. Furthermore, these initiatives are recognized, and ties with Shibuya-ku are being strengthened.

* Fonts—released as public data—designed by students studying in Shibuya using letters and numbers written by persons with disabilities living or working in Shibuya.

KOKUYO Team Run Flat-out at ISU-1GP Held across Japan

KOKUYO Team Run Flat-out at ISU-1GP Held across Japan

The ISU-1GP is a two-hour endurance race where competitors consisting of three-person teams use office chairs. This street revitalization event organized by Japan Office Chair Racing Association and shopping districts across Japan is held at shopping districts nationwide.

Each year, KOKUYO teams are formed with KOKUYO product retailers and agencies in various regions, helping to revitalize shopping districts through race participation. In 2019, at the 55th race since the start of KOKUYO’s participation, one of these teams won for the first time at the world competition when it was held at Kyoto.

Our team became number one in the world. In addition, teams also participated at races held at Okayama, Saitama, Akita, Hokkaido, Tokushima, Fukushima, Yamagata, Tokyo, Shiga and other locations, and actively contribute toward street revitalization of various regions—such as cooperating with shopping districts and providing support to local high school teams—as companies selling office chairs.

Campus Art Award 2019, a Painting Competition for Junior High and High School Students

Campus Art Award 2019, a Painting Competition for Junior High and High School Students

Campus Note notebook with the winning entry on its cover

Since 2015, KOKUYO has held the Campus Art Award for junior high and high school students jointly with the Yomiuri Teens Newspaper (issued by the publishing company The Yomiuri Shimbun).

The contest theme was "My Sweet Home Town—a Great Favorite of Mine." The aim is to create opportunities for the youth of Japan's future to turn their attention to their local areas, to notice their attractiveness and to share that with others by taking up the theme of local landscape, customs, traditions, events, food, confectionery, etc.

The winners for the Grand Prix, the Yomiuri Teens Newspaper Award, the KOKUYO Award, the District Merit Awards, and other winning entries were selected from the entries.

The Grand Prix went to “Yokohama that is always in my heart” by Aya Takeno, a first-year high school student at the time of the competition. As a supplementary prize, the winning entry was used to decorate Campus Note notebooks, and these were produced and given to the winners.

The Job Study Initiative

The Job Study Initiative

The Job Study is a cross-industry seminar held by a team of human resources personnel from leading companies in various industries. They meet to discuss what kind of seminar is truly useful for students and use the results to organize a seminar themselves. When it was first launched in 2005, the issue of early resignations by newly hired university graduates, where 30% leave their employment within three years, was a major issue. To address this issue and to provide an opportunity for corporations and students to come together, we have brought about the realization of mutual communication where corporations and students can talk about the significance of working by planning a program based on the concept of real opinions and hand-made. Since then, 15 years have passed and we have continued to face students with sincerity, and today, a total of 18 leading companies from various industries have joined the Job Study.

As of the end of 2019, the Job Study had amassed 15 years of positive results. However, changes in the environment surrounding students and companies—such as changes in corporate employment terms and the environment of new graduate recruitment, and the diversification in the values of students—are taking place at an extremely fast pace, and the issues being faced by both sides also continue to change. Against this backdrop, the Job Study is asking the representatives of the personnel departments of 18 participating companies to shun the status quo and come together and seriously consider what is required and what they would like to do as they look to the future. It is being conducted not as a recruitment event for companies but as an activity to undertake issues in recruitment.

Local Cleanup Activities and Blood Donation

Local Cleanup Activities and Blood Donation

The KOKUYO Group collaborates with local communities through cleanup activities carried out at office buildings, plants, Distribution Centers, and overseas business offices. Cleanup activities are performed once a year around the head office building in Osaka with the cooperation of the local government.

Through a tie-up with the organizers of the Osaka Marathon, Operation Osaka Marathon Cleanup has been organized since 2011 as a cleanup activity for all areas of Osaka so as to present a clean city to visitors to Osaka. The company participated in this activity in collaboration with the local government.

At various sites around the country, our employees have participated in blood donation drives since 1980. In 2019, Japanese Red Cross Osaka Blood Center visited the company, and 52 employees donated blood despite this only taking place in the afternoon.

General Participants of Factory Tours at KOKUYO Product Shiga Exceeded 5,000

The milestone 5,000th factory tour participant

The milestone 5,000th factory tour participant

KOKUYO Product Shiga has been conducting factory tours for the general public to improve brand value originating from the plant and to promote the creation of fans, and 2019 was the fifth anniversary of these tours. On August 10, a ceremony was held to commemorate the milestone of more than 5,000 visitors. In addition to factory tours, commemorate souvenirs were given out and commemorative photographs were taken that day. A “Traffic Safety Class & Reed Stationery Workshop”—a workshop which can be enjoyed for a full day combining the Traffic Kids Park organized by the nearby accommodation facility Crefeel Koto Co., Ltd. and KOKUYO Product Shiga’s reed stationery workshop—was also conducted. Going forward, we will continue to work on creating fans through factory tours.

Gathering in Sendai of the MICHINOKU Future Fund That Helps Orphans Continue Their Education

Gathering in Sendai of the MICHINOKU Future Fund That Helps Orphans Continue Their Education

On March 17, a gathering was held at Sendai International Center for the eighth batch of students funded by the MICHINOKU Future Fund* for which KOKUYO Tohoku Sales provides support. KOKUYO Tohoku Sales has continued to provide support as a corporate supporter since a year after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

The gathering this time was to celebrate the eighth batch of students’ graduation from high school and continuation of education as well as scholarship recipients who have graduated and are becoming working adults. At the farewell party, where around 80 scholarship recipients have gone on to a new stage in life and talked about their dreams and future goals, there were many students who could not help crying and spoke in choked voices. It was a moment where people felt that this fund did not just provide economic support but also served as the students’ emotional support.

Nine years after the Great East Japan Earthquake, KOKUYO Tohoku Sales continues to provide support into the future.

* This is a scholarship fund founded by ROHTO Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Calbee, Inc., and Kagome Co., Ltd. to support students who lost their parents in the Great East Japan Earthquake in continuing onto higher education (universities, junior colleges, and vocational schools) based on the belief that “the cornerstone of recovery will be the work and support of the children growing up today.” So far, more than 800 students have received scholarships

KOKUYO Kitakanto Sales Became Official Supplier of the 77th National Sports Festival and 22nd National Sports Festival for People with an Impairment

KOKUYO Kitakanto Sales Became Official Supplier of the 77th National Sports Festival and 22nd National Sports Festival for People with an Impairment

The front cover of the original Campus Note notebook has Tochimaru-kun, the mascot of the two sports festivals, and the festivals’ slogan “From dreams to excitement, from excitement to the future,” while the back cover has a design promoting the festivals with Tochimaru-kun placed on various event venues on a map.

Last year, KOKUYO Kitakanto Sales continued to provide 10,000 original Campus Note notebooks based on strawberries, a famous produce of Tochigi, to Tochigi Prefecture as a local company. In addition, KOKUYO Kitakanto Sales has been recognized as an official supplier of the 77th National Sports Festival and 22nd National Sports Festival for People with an Impairment which will be held in Tochigi Prefecture in 2022.

Going forward, KOKUYO Kitakanto Sales will strive to gain recognition and promote the sports festivals in various ways as the official supplier so as to make them sports festivals capable of delivering excitement and joy.

Held Event for Employees of Public Offices to Experience Telecommuting

Held Event for Employees of Public Offices to Experience Telecommuting

To contribute toward encouraging the spread of telecommuting, an event to experience telecommuting for employees of national ministries and agencies as well as local governments was held as part of the TELEWORK DAYS initiative for which KOKUYO is a supporting organization. For a total of five days, from July 29 to 30 and August 5 to 7, THINK OF THINGS at Sendagaya and DIVERARY at the Shinagawa Showroom were opened to these employees as satellite offices for a limited period. By experiencing a telecommuting environment that cannot be experienced at their workplaces and spaces created from various concepts, it became an opportunity for them to again relook at their work styles.

Deaf students from Shanghai visit KOKUYO Commerce (Shanghai)’s notebook factory

Deaf students from Shanghai visit KOKUYO Commerce (Shanghai)’s notebook factory

At the end of March, deaf students from Shanghai visited a KOKUYO Commerce (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. factory located in the outskirts of Shanghai. With the careful guidance of factory employees, the students were able to observe the production process from base paper to finished notebook, and learn secrets behind the production of their favorite KOKUYO stationery. Through this factory visit, we communicated the warmth of society to the students.

Chasing Big Dreams with Small Notebooks!

Chasing Big Dreams with Small Notebooks!

In November, seven employees from the Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen offices of KOKUYO (Shanghai) Management Co., Ltd., KOKUYO Commerce (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. and KOKUYO Furniture (China) Co., Ltd. visited Guanghui School in Liangshan, Sichuan Province, and interacted with approximately 800 children there.

The employee volunteers spent a meaningful day with the children, playing games and doing crafts using KOKUYO stationery.

We organize these kinds of interchange activities with children every year. Seeing the stationery they have made bring smiles to so many children's faces was an irreplaceable experience for the employees. KOKUYO is actively having its employees participate in volunteer activities to help them personally understand the concept of contributing to society through our products.

Mini Science Centres Opened at Schools Near KOKUYO Camlin’s Plants

Mini Science Centres Opened at Schools Near KOKUYO Camlin’s Plants

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education is a requirement for technological transformation to significantly change our society. It is a field of education pointed out for its importance globally for nurturing children’s curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

To provide children from underprivileged families with opportunities to also directly come into contact with the universal theories and principles of science and mathematics, KOKUYO Camlin has opened Mini Science Centres equipped with meaningful learning tools (75 items) at five schools in the vicinity of three of the company’s plants through the provision of funds to the social enterprise STEM Learning amounting to 3.2 million yen.

Improvement to Project Nanhi Kali Supporting Underprivileged Girls

Project Nanhi Kali (which means “a little bud” in Hindi) is a project that started at K.C. Mahindra Education Trust in 1996 to achieve a fair and equal society as well as economic growth by supporting underprivileged girls. So far, it has reached out to over 370,000 underprivileged girls across 14 states in India.

Girls receiving support through this project are assured of completing 10 years of education. They are provided with uniforms, school bags, and learning tools such as textbooks and stationery. They are also able to receive training toward strengthening their learning abilities at Academic Support Centres.

KOKUYO Camlin agrees with the project’s purpose, and donated 900,000 yen as a corporate sponsor.

Art Activity Support for Injured Soldiers at Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre

Art Activity Support for Injured Soldiers at Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre

Soldiers in the armed forces who have sustained serious injuries and diagnosed with paralysis of arms or legs are transferred to the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre (PRC) in the city of Pune. PRC provides 24-hour treatment support and facilities to peacefully live out the rest of their lives. However, many soldiers fall into deep depression. To provide these soldiers as much as possible with the will to live, since four years ago, KOKUYO Camlin has provided acrylic paints, canvasses, brushes and other painting tools, and conducted training on how to create paintings by holding brushes with the mouth and technical lectures regarding the use of colors.

In April 2019, 24 works created at PRC so far were opened to the public, and many students and residents visited to see the works.

This initiative was subsequently expanded to the production of greeting cards printed with these paintings. So far, more than 15,000 cards have been sold, and the entire revenue of 15 yen per card is given to soldiers and their families.