Kanematsu's History

Time of Startup


After the foundation in 1889, Fusajiro established the basis for sales in about ten years, by which time he was responsible for 40% to 50% of Japan's wool imports. Around the time of World War I, in line with the unprecedented growth of Japan's trade, exports increased. During World War II, while trade with Europe and the US declined, Fusajiro adapted to the wartime economy and expanded into the collection of goods and production to mark the beginning of diversified management.

Fusajiro Kanematsu founds Fusajiro Kanematsu Shoten of Australian Trading in Kobe.
Founder:Fusajiro Kanematsu
Sets up a branch in Sydney, and begins direct import of Australian wool.
Yohei Kitagawa founds Kitagawa Shoten, which is a predecessor of The Gosho Company.
Starts import of Australian wheat
Fusajiro Kanematsu passes away on February 6 at the age of 68.
Reorganizes into Kanematsu Shoten Company. Stated capital ¥2 million
Reorganizes Sydney branch into an affiliate company incorporated abroad.
Establishment of Kanematsu Wool Research Institute (the current Kanematsu Woolen Mills, Ltd.)
Opens stores in New York and Seattle
Establishes overseas affiliated company in New Zealand.
Changes trade name to Kanematsu and Company.

After World War II


Kanematsu responded to the change in demand caused by the structural reform of Japan's economy and converted from a trade company centered on fibers to a general trade corporation. Before World War II, fibers accounted for about 80% of sales, but after World War II, products other than fibers accounted for about 70% of sales.

Resumption of foreign tours for employees. The first group departs for America. Diversification of business begins, moving toward an integrated general trading company.
Establishes an overseas affiliated company in New York, as the first Japanese trading company in postwar era. Establishes an overseas affiliated company in Brazil.
The building where Kanematsu's New York office was located at the time
Establishes an overseas affiliated company in West Germany.
Abolishes the system in which workers hold all the stock, and goes public on the Second Section of the Osaka Securities Exchange(Lists stock on the First Section of the Osaka Securities Exchange in 1963, and delisted in 2010).
Establishes an overseas affiliated company in Iran.
Establishes an overseas affiliated company in Thailand.

High Growth Period


In 1967, Kanematsu and Gosho Company merged to further accelerate the conversion to a general trading corporation. In late 1970s, during a period of winter-like hardship for trading companies, when they were criticized for causing inflation through their business activities or were said to be unnecessary, Kanematsu had a hard time as its revenues increased but its profits fell.

Merges with The Gosho Company to form Kanematsu-Gosho, Ltd.
Establishes the Nagoya Branch Office.
Establishes its Head Office at the Tokyo Branch Office.
Former Tokyo headquarters building
Lists stock on the First Sections of the Tokyo and Nagoya Stock Exchanges. (Delisted from Nagoya Stock Exchange in 2003).
Establishes an overseas affiliated company in Hong Kong.
Establishes a representative office in Beijing, China following restoration of diplomatic relations.

Bubble/Structural Reform Period


Against a background of a high-yen recession caused by the Plaza Accord, monetary easing was implemented. The economic bubble period began.
During this period, Kanematsu grew steadily centered on fuel and chemical products. After the collapse of the bubble economy, through the Heisei recession, in 1999 Kanematsu undertook a number of reforms to strengthen its business structure. By refining its business focus, Kanematsu took steps to improve and enhance its financial foundations. In 2014, Kanematsu announced VISION-130 for its 130th anniversary. In view of maintaining sound financial strength and expanding its revenue base at the same time, Kanematsu took on new challenges, including new investments, to become a corporation that constantly seeks to create business.

Establishes an overseas affiliated company in the United Kingdom.
Changes trade name to Kanematsu Corporation.
Moves Tokyo headquarters from Kyobashi to Shibaura.
Establishes Kanematsu Europe PLC in the United Kingdom having general control over Europe.
Seavans Building where the old Tokyo headquarters was located.
Kanematsu Europe PLC merged with Kanematsu G.m.b.H.
Establishes an overseas affiliated company in India.
Kanematsu Corporation celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2019.
Moves Tokyo headquarters from Shibaurai to Marunouchi.
JP Tower where the headquarters is currently located
Kanematsu Electronics Ltd. and Kanematsu Sustech Corporation become wholly-owned subsidiaries.