kuraray


News Releases 2006

80th Anniversary of Kuraray's Founding

June 15, 2006
Kuraray Co., Ltd.

Kuraray Co., Ltd., renowned for its proprietary polymer chemistry and synthetic chemistry technologies, on which it has based the development and global marketing of highly functional resins and film, chemicals, fibers and textiles and other distinctive products, marks the 80th anniversary of its establishment on June 24, 2006.

Since Kuraray's first president, Magosaburo Ohara, established Kurashiki Kenshoku Co. in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, in 1926, with the objective of commercializing the synthetic fiber rayon, Kuraray has cultivated a corporate culture and commitment to contribute to society and individual well-being, and to engage in activities that others are unable to produce; this has formed the basis on which Kuraray has developed powerful original technologies over the past 80 years. KURALON, the world's first manufactured polyvinyl alcohol fiber, the man-made leather CLARINO, the gas barrier ethylene vinyl alcohol polymer resin EVAL, and poval film, which is indispensable for liquid crystal displays, are among the lineup of highly original, market-winning products Kuraray has given to the world.

Kuraray is planning the following activities to mark this milestone in its history.

Kuraray 80th Anniversary Commemorative Activities

1. Collaborative Exhibition with the Ohara Museum of Art(*)

(1) Activity as Principal Sponsor

First public showing of the works of Shiko Munakata from the Kuraray collection and the Ohara Museum of Art in Tokyo and Kobe

Kobe venue September 13 - 25, 2006: Daimaru Museum, Kobe
Tokyo venue October 5 - 17, 2006: Daimaru Museum Tokyo

(2) Activity as Joint Sponsor

  • Impact : Modern East and West - another view of the Ohara Museum of Art"
    (Ohara Museum of Art from July 11 - November 5, 2006)
  • "Modern Paradise Exhibition : Ohara Museum of Art and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; a feast of East and West"
    (National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, from August 15 - October 15, 2006).
* Ohara Museum of Art (Chuo 1-1-15, Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture)
The Ohara Museum of Art was founded by Kuraray's first president, Magosaburo Ohara, in 1930, and was Japan's first private museum of Western art. The museum plays an active role in Kurashiki and has expanded its collection to include both modern and contemporary art from the West and Japan, as well as pieces by artists who served the Mingei (Japanese Folk Art) Movement. The museum is well-known to the world as a private museum with a character all its own.

2. Group Trademark Redesigned

A new Kuraray logo has been created for use worldwide and by all Group companies.

3. 80th Anniversary Commemorative Journal - Innovation

A commemorative journal is being compiled under the concept of 'visual history of Kuraray group'. It is a highly visual publication designed to appeal to the general reader, covering not just business stories but social trends, with anecdotes about Kuraray's development, culture, sports, and a wealth of other subjects.

4. New Company Uniform (Headquarters and Manufacturing Plants)

A new uniform has been introduced for female employees in the headquarters and administrative offices , and for male and female employees in research centers and manufacturing plants. It is the first new uniform since 2001 for the headquarters and administrative operations, and since 1992 for the manufacturing plants and research centers.

Major Milestones in Kuraray's History

1926 Magosaburo Ohara, the first president, established Kurashiki Kenshoku Co. in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, with the objective of commercializing the synthetic fiber rayon.
1950s KURALON became Japan's first synthetic fiber to be commercialized; commercial production of poval started.
1960s Commercialization of poval film and hook-and-loop fastener MAGIC TAPE; development of CLARINO man-made leather with natural leather characteristics; implementation of polyester technology. Kuraray established a KURALON manufacturing plant in China, becoming the first Japanese company to set up a presence in the country before the restoration of diplomatic relations between China and Japan.
1970s Commercialization of the world's first synthesis method isoprene, the gas impermeable EVOH resin EVAL, and medical products such as dental materials, artificial organs and contact lenses. Successively entered joint venture agreements with overseas corporations in the non-woven fabric and other new businesses.
1980s Established Eval Company of America as a joint-venture manufacturing company. Commenced production of screens for rear- projection televisions.
1990s Commercialization of thermoplastic elastomer SEPTON, new Poval fiber KURALON K-Ⅱ, and heat-resistant polyamide resin GENESTAR. Established local manufacturing facilities for EVAL in Belgium and poval resin in Singapore.
2000s Acquired the PVA-related operations of Clariant AG. Start of SEPTON manufacturing operations in the United States signaled the acceleration of overseas manufacturing of focus businesses.
Present GS-21 Medium-Term Business Plan (fiscal 2006-2008) launched, sets aggressive target for fiscal 2008 of ¥450 billion in net sales, ¥50 billion in operating income, ROA of 9% and ROE of 7%, with a further stretch target of ¥550 billion in net sales and ¥60 billion in operating profit. Accordingly, under the 10-Year Corporate Vision, Kuraray aims to become a diversified, specialty-chemical company of world renown, achieving sustainable growth through exciting innovation and outstanding earnings, and has set a target of ¥1 trillion in net sales by 2015.