History

Founding

1598

Established in 1598 as a wholesale dealer of cotton at Iida city, Nagano, Japan.

1940

1947

April

Great Fire in Iida

On April 20, 1947, while the Nohara family was under the leadership of the thirteenth-generation heir Koichi Nohara, a great fire broke out in Iida City, the location of the the Watahan and Nohara general partnership. The fire almost completely consumed the center of the city.
With only a small part of the Watahan storehouse surviving, the fire motivated Koichi, then 62 years old, to declare that he would transfer the reins of the business to his 32-year-old nephew Tatsuya (the first company president) and 28-year-old firstborn son Kokichi (the second company president).
Although the announcement took the two young men by surprise, they began the work of reconstructing the business from the charred rubble, keeping Koichi's words in mind: "Starting today, I leave you two in charge of Watahan. Do your best to work together. Don't forget the reputation that Watahan has built."

Great Fire in Iida

A Popsicle in Summer

What kind of business could be launched immediately in a city devastated by a massive fire? Why, Popsicles of course!
Tatsuya and Kokichi purchased a plot of land measuring about 130 square meters, and built a two-story barracks on it. After buying a state-of-the-art large-size refrigerating machine, they opened a café called "Alaska."
As its popularity grew, they loaded wooden cases of Popsicles onto bicycles and walked all over the city to sell them in places like parks and baseball fields.
Thanks to the strong initiative of the two young owners and their employees, sales of "Alaska" boomed. Within a single summer, they were able to redeem the cost of the refrigerating machine and even make an operating profit.
Tatsuya and Kokichi would later build on this success to leave Iida and finally make moves toward the establishment of a new company in Tokyo.

A Popsicle in Summer

September

Nohara is founded in Odawara-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo with ¥195,000 of capital.

"New employees become shareholders"

At the end of the summer, Tatsuya and Kokichi shut down the Popsicle shop and sold the refrigerating machine to generate capital.
Nohara Corporation was born in Tokyo on September 11, 1947.
Tatsuya and Kokichi filled all the other positions on the board of the company with employees of the former shop in Iida, rather than their own relatives.
Having broken away from private management, they expanded their capital more and more until it had increased tenfold within just a year.
Meanwhile, they also implemented an "employee shareholder system" by putting aside 20% of each employee's monthly wages toward the acquisition of company stock.
Nohara's management philosophy of making the best use of human resources and always working together with employees to protect and grow "their own" company served as the foundation for building the massive Watahan and Nohara business groups within a single generation. That core remains unchanged to this day.

New employees become shareholders

Mimeographed Guides

"If you can make it three years at Nohara, you'll be successful anywhere." The rigor of the work and strict discipline at Nohara were apparently legendary.
The company put great effort into its mimeographed guides for young employees.
With principles such as "Salesmanship," "28 Rules for Out-of-Store Sales," "The Rational Method and Tips for Collection of Receivables," and "Working Guidelines for Female Employees," Nohara's comprehensive human-resource development characterized by a tough work ethic but fairness and respect toward individuals was reflected in its public reputation.

ガリ版刷の指導書

1949

February

Iida Office is spun off, establishing Watahan Dotetsu Hardware Store Co., Ltd.
Headquarters are moved to Shintomi-cho in Chuo-ku, Tokyo.

1950

1951

Duro-Test Fluorescent Bulbs

From 1951 to 1953, Nohara intensively sold fluorescent bulbs manufactured by the US-based Duro-Test Corporation, known as "the brightest and longest-lasting in the world."
This was an era when there was considerable variation among domestic goods, so by publicizing the top-ranking quality of the bulbs, the obscure startup company was able to deliver sales results strong enough to threaten major domestic manufacturers.
However, once the company decided to venture beyond mere acquisition of domestic distribution rights and into production and sales in Japan, it experienced the economic climate of tight controls on imports that characterized the postwar economic recovery period, as well as large companies' power to crush small and medium-sized dealers.
Standing at its single most critical juncture, Nohara made the decision to focus on its primary business, construction materials.

Duro-Test Fluorescent Bulbs

1953

September

Signing a distributor agreement with Nozawa Asbestos Cement Co.
(present Nozawa Corporation) gives the company a foothold in the building materials sales business in addition to the existing line of products such as bolts.

Volunteerism and the Birth of the Ryukyo Foundation

The founders received many requests from their hometown of Iida City to serve in social positions. However, they firmly declined those requests based on the Nohara family's teaching passed down over generations— "Reject all positions, and devote yourself to your primary business."
Nonetheless, they were enthusiastic about welfare targeting the local community. In 1953, a time when the concept of "volunteerism" was not yet entrenched, they launched the Ryukyo Foundation even as the emerging company was still busy trying to secure funds.

Volunteerism and the Birth of the Ryukyo Foundation

1956

April

Nagoya Branch opens.

Smokeless Furnace

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, new synthetic resin construction materials such as plastic pipes and corrugated panels emerged in addition to iron and cement.
Around this time, the Matsumoto branch received an offer to partner in the sale of a smokeless furnace. It was a patented product that provided better thermal efficiency and produced less smoke than existing ones.
Showcasing this unique product, Nohara Corporation searched for well-financed, reputable hardware stores throughout the region and actively demonstrated it.
These demonstrations spread steadily but consistently, establishing footholds for business relationships with prestigious local stores.
In other words, Nohara Corporation was able to sell in-demand products such as new construction materials through these newly created routes, leading to tremendous growth in sales.

Smokeless Furnace

1958

February

Headquarters are moved to Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo.

April

"Fuji Lights," invented and produced by the "Fuji Reflection Institute," is dealt.

During the late 1950s, road traffic improvement projects were stepped up as the era of privately owned cars steadily approached.
"Fuji Lights" was reflective sheeting capable of reflecting light like a mirror. It drew attention as a domestic product that could rival "Scotchlite" manufactured by the US-based 3M. In 1958, Nohara Corporation began handling the product on a full scale, with the catchphrase "Fuji Lights shine all day and night."
This product marked Nohara Corporation's first entry into road signage, a brand-new field outside its traditional domain of construction materials.

Fuji Lights

1959

October

Concrete Product Division is spun off, establishing Nohara Concrete Industry Co., Ltd.

1960

1960

December

Road Sign Division is spun off, establishing Fuji Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.
The dealership is made with Yoshino Gypsum Co., Ltd., Asano Concrete Co., Ltd. and Tajima Ohyohkakoh Co., Ltd. Trading of construction material starts as major business domain.

1964

February

Osaka Branch opens.

1965

March

Fuji Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., a group company, is merged.

1966

April

Nohara Concrete Industry Co., Ltd., a group company, is merged.

1968

September

Chiba Office (present Higashi-Kanto Sales Office) opens.
Omiya Office (present Kita-Kanto Branch) opens.
Nozaki Seisakusho, a group company, is merged.

1969

June

Capital is increased to ¥100 million.

1970

1974

October

Capital is increased to ¥200 million.

1976

April

Yokohama Office is upgraded to Yokohama Branch.

1978

April

Tama Office (present Nishi-Kanto Branch) opens.

July

Capital is increased to ¥330 million.

1979

January

Sendai Office opens.

1980

1980

February

Sendai factory is completed. Sendai Office is moved to the newly completed building and upgraded Tohoku Branch.

1981

February

Nohara Cement Sales Co., Ltd. is established.

May

Fukuoka Sales Office opens.

August

The Sagamihara Steel Factory and Sagamihara Office (present Kanagawa Factory of Nohara Steel Co., Ltd.) open.

1982

February

Capital is increased to ¥430 million.

1983

July

Hiroshima Sales Office opens.

1986

March

Shizuoka Sales Office opens.

August

Okayama Sales Office opens.

1988

May

Kobe Sales Office opens.

1989

March

Yatsugatake Sports Center (present Yatsugatake Training Institute) opens.

June

Hokuriku Sales Office opens.

October

Hiroshima Sales Office is moved to the newly completed Hiroshima Nohara Building.

1990

1990

May

Sapporo Sales Office and Takamatsu Sales Office open.

1991

June

Minami-Kyushu Sales Office opens.

December

Yatsugatake Training Institute is completed.

1992

May

Nagano Sales Office opens.

June

Koriyama Sales Office and Chiba Sales Office open.

September

Nasu Factory is completed.

1995

August

Kobashi Co., Ltd. becomes a subsidiary and is renamed Nohara Ekujin Co., Ltd.

1997

February

Capital is increased to ¥612.1 million.

1998

April

Nishi-Kanto Branch and Kita-Kanto Branch are registered.

2000

2000

July

Niigata Sales Office opens.

August

Fit Real Estate Co., Ltd. is established.

October

Shonan Office is moved to Atsugi-city, Kanagawa and is renamed as Kanagawa Central Office.

December

Plast Co., Ltd. becomes a subsidiary and renamed Nohara Plast Co., Ltd. (present Nohara Steel Co., Ltd.)

2001

April

Headquarters are moved to Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo.

June

Shinei Kogyo Co., Ltd. becomes a subsidiary and renamed Arc Saitama Co., Ltd. (present Arc Nohara Co., Ltd.)

December

ISO9001 certification is obtained at headquarters.

2002

August

Arc Saitama Co., Ltd. is renamed Arc Nohara Co., Ltd.

November

Arc Nohara takes over construction business of Landscape Engineering Division.

2003

July

Shuko Japan Co., Ltd. is established.

December

ISO9001 certification is obtained at Nasu Factory.

2004

April

Nohara Ekujin Co., Ltd., a subsidiary, is merged.

2005

November

Utsunomiya Sales Office opens.

2007

May

Takasaki Sales Office opens.

2009

October

Nittobo Materials Co., Ltd. becomes a subsidiary. Business alliance is made with Nitto Boseki Co., Ltd.

2010

2010

April

Nohara Plast Co., Ltd. is renamed Nohara Steel Co., Ltd.

2011

October

Nohara Workplace Co., Ltd. is established in Shenyang, China.

2012

May

CAL Co., Ltd. becomes a subsidiary.
NOHARA (SHANGHAI) TRADING CO., LTD. is established in Shanghai, China.

2014

March

Nohara Engineering Co., Ltd. is established.
Nohara International Pte. Ltd. is established.

October

Nohara Engineering takes over construction business.

2015

February

Patia 1st shop opens.

March

Sanei Sangyou becomed a subsidiary.
PT.NOHARA ALTA INDONESIA is established.

2016

December

Nohara Trading and Services Indea Pvt. Ltd. is established.
Nohara Living Environment, Inc. is established.

2017

January

Nohara Holdings, Inc. is established.

April

GOOD DESIGN STORE TOKYO by NOHARA opens.