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  • Maruto's History


In the tradition of local blacksmiths

Maruto Hasegawa Kosakujo Inc. grew in the local tradition of blacksmiths in the city of Sanjo. Dating back from the Edo period (approx. 350 years ago), Sanjo city has been one of the major productions centers of metal goods in Japan. Especially known for the production of high quality cutlery products, currently "Sanjo Japan Brands" are highly praised around the world. The tradition of making fine cutlery products is thoroughly alive and present at Maruto Hasegawa Kosakujo Inc.

In the beginning

In 1924, at the age of 23, Mr. Tozaburo Hasegawa created his own company. This was around the time when radio broadcasting in Japan began and was just a few years before the Great Depression. In the beginning, the main item produced by Tozaburo Hasegawa was a carpenter's gluing clamp.

Impressed by the availability of more modern pliers and other hand tools, in 1932 Mr. Hasegawa was the first in Niigata prefecture to purchase a spring hammer to begin the production of similar hand tools himself. Up until this time, manually forging steel was the norm, but with the introduction of mechanization, productivity rose dramatically.

Before long, with the distinctive horse logo, Hasegawa's KEIBA brand played an active role as a pioneer in Sanjo city, where many hand tool manufacturers later gathered.

Time of growth

After the war, KEIBA hand tools went abroad in search of new markets. In America, "Do-It-Yourself" home improvement retailers selling tools and home building materials were rapidly growing. To meet this market, hand tools aimed at home improvement centers were exported in large quantities by KEIBA. KEIBA Diagonal cutting pliers (diagonal cutters or side cutters) for plastic were especially praised for their characteristically Japanese sharpness and acquired the largest market share in the North American market. Since then, KEIBA products expanded to markets in Europe, Asia and around the globe. Currently KEIBA products are valued by customers in more than 20 countries.

Production of cutting pliers and nippers grew to be one of the largest in Japan, and Maruto was the only Japanese manufacturer of cutting pliers which held a large market in both the European and North American markets.

Turning point

With a long history of honing and improving its technological competence, Maruto continues to seek new challenges instead of being satisfied with current successes.

As a hand tool manufacturer, Maruto has led the industry by anticipating the importance of design, and from 1960 onwards Maruto has summoned famous designers to accumulate valuable expertise. Since then, Maruto have continued the legacy to pursue new ideas and beautiful shapes in hand tools.

In 1967, Maruto was commissioned by a major cosmetics manufacturer to produce pliers-style nail clippers (nail nippers). Over 300,000 pliers-style nail clippers were manufactured per year. From the knowledge amassed during this experience, in the early 2000s the Maruto brand was launched, creating the category of beauty care products which include pliers-style nail clippers (nail nippers). The website "Nail Scissors Culture Institute" (Japanese only) was created to support this new market. Building on this successful entry into a new market, Maruto continues to seek new fields and new customers with whom to provide quality products.

First President - Tozaburo Hasegawa

First President - Tozaburo Hasegawa(1900~1962)

In May of 1924, at the age of 23, Tozaburo established his own business. Even at a young age, Mr. Hasegawa was a tireless entrepreneur and pioneer of new products.

Second President - Tozaburo Hasegawa

Second President - Tozaburo Hasegawa(1925 – 2004)

Son of the founding Hasegawa, as a leader of the Niigata Hand Tool Cooperative Association and chairman of the Sanjo Trade Organization he contributed to his industry by seeking new markets in other nations.

Corporate history

1924 - May As a private operation, Tozaburo Hasegawa starts his company making gluing clamps, small farming tools and carpenter's tools, etc. Through his originality and ingenuity he develops many new products.
1936 - May As a result of growth, the company moves to a larger factory at 177 Shimada, Sanjo City. The manufacturing of carpenter's tools and work tools begin. As a pioneer in Niigata prefecture, Maruto develops new markets with side cutting pliers, wrenches, spanner wrenches; more than a dozen kind of hand tools in all.
1943 - May To meet the urgent request from the national government, due to the Second World War, the company becomes incorporated as Maruto Hasegawa Kosakujo Inc. and is engaged with the responsibility of supplying mainly pliers amongst other military goods to the armed forces.
1945 - September After the war, the organization completely migrates back to the non-military industry and the core business becomes the manufacturing of side cutting pliers along with end cutters and gluing clamps. Mr. Tozaburo Hasegawa, son and namesake of the corporation's founder, becomes president.
1951 - October The Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) are established, and upon application the corporation receives a permit to indicate first class JIS certification on diagonal cutting pliers.
1964 - March Tokyo sales office opens.
1969 - December Last year of a 5-year modernization plan. Head office relocates to 1911 Higashi Honjoji, Sanjo.
1970 - August A permit is granted to indicate JIS certification on heavy duty diagonal cutting pliers.
1974 - November After 1.3 million straight hours of accident-free operation, an award is given to Maruto Inc. by the Labor Standards Bureau from the Ministry of Labor.
1976 - February First attends the International Hardware Fair Cologne in Cologne, Germany. The company has attended this major trade show every subsequent year to date.
1980 - October At the Japan Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Trade Fair, Maruto's wire strippers for coaxial cables wins an award for excellence from the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency. From this year onwards, entry into various competitions is made and numerous awards are won.
1982 - December Annual production of 4,128,000 products accomplished.
1986 - May Maruto Inc. begins automation of the forging process by purchasing a forging robot made by Kobe Steel Mills.
1989 - April Osaka sales office opens.
1995 - April Mr. Tozaburo Hasegawa becomes chairman and Mr. Tadashi Hasegawa becomes president of the company.
1996 - January MPS (Maruto Product System) introduced to improve workplace efficiency.
1999 - May 75th Anniversary celebrations.
2000 - January Installation of three large-scale 190kW Hitachi off-grid electric power generators.
2000 - March Maruto celebrates 365 continuous days of accident-free operation.
2001 - December Construction of Maruto's third factory, 5,850 square meters in size.
2002 - November Achieves a world record time for changing a forging tool, in 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
2003 - August To launch the company's entry into the beauty care products industry, Maruto announces new products at Niigata-kan N'Espace, a large "antenna shop" in Tokyo that promotes goods from Maruto's home prefecture.
2004 - February 80th Anniversary celebrations.
2004 - May The second president of Maruto Mr. Tozaburo Hasegawa passes away.
2006 Plot for fourth factory purchased (17,097sqm) close to the head office.
Permit to develop medical tools granted.
2008 Selected as one of 300 active small and medium-sized manufacturers in Japan.
Fourth factory begins operation.
2009 85th Anniversary celebrations and commencement of the MPI (Maruto Product Innovation) system.


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  • Maruto Hasegawa Kosakujo Inc.
    ⇒Corporate Profile
    Head Office/Factory: 16-1, Doba, Sanjo City,
    Niigata Pref.
    TEL: 0256-33-3010
    FAX: 0256-34-7720