1912 - 1914

September 15, 1912: Tokuji Sets Up His Own Business

After finishing his apprenticeship at the metalworking shop and working for a time as a full-fledged craftsman, Tokuji was finally able to start his own business. It began with his invention of the Tokubijo snap buckle that required no fastening holes. An inspiration taken from a movie he saw, this belt buckle became Tokuji’s first utility model design patent. With a large number of orders coming in for his innovative belt buckle, he set up his own business. However, Tokuji, who astutely judged that the success of the buckle was only a passing fad, didn’t forget to make his next move. It was an adjustable flow faucet, a new product that became his second invention to be granted a new design patent. Moving into broader areas such as parts for umbrellas and writing instruments, his business gradually expanded, and he installed a one-horsepower electric motor with the aim of increasing the efficiency of his operations. At a cost of 200 yen, it was an expensive investment, one that could be described as being out of proportion for a small factory of that time.