1915 - 1926

Never Giving Up Until Making the Sale, No Matter What

Tokuji, along with his brother, established the Hayakawa Brothers Shokai metal stationery factory. But, the Hayakawa Mechanical Pencil might have been too far ahead of its time. Initially, he heard only critical opinions from stationery wholesalers, and it did not sell at all. Its success began in the most unexpected of places. The First World War led to a shortage of supplies in Europe, and as a consequence, the brothers received a large order from a Yokohama trading house. Markets in Europe and the United States recognized its superior quality, and the Hayakawa Mechanical Pencil became a much-sought-after item. Its reputation also began to spread in Japan, and they were soon awash in a wave of offers for deals from wholesalers in Japan. In addition, the pencil lead used in the Hayakawa Mechanical Pencil was improved to become extremely fine. This is what ultimately made it a hit product, and the name was changed to the “Ever-Ready Sharp Pencil.” This became the origin of “Sharp,” the subsequent name of the company. It should also be noted that the Hayakawa Mechanical Pencil was granted patents in the United States, as well as in Japan.