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Tradition and for the next generations

In 1909, three craftsmen, OHNO Kozaemon, NAKAMURA Kakichiro and ONO Mohei, began producing a cocoon cleaning/unwinding agent in a barn of the incense shop Ohno Kungyokudo. This product – later named SILKREELER – dramatically improved silk yarn spinning productivity, and contributed to establishment of mass production technology in the silk industry. They carried out further research and development and continued to supply products e.g. scouring agents and oil agents for the textile industry, which was the key industry of the time. In 1914, the company became Ohno Kogyo Seiyakusho by general partnership, and in 1918 Dai-ichi Kogyo Seiyaku (DKS) was established. In 1923, DKS opened a representative office in Shanghai, which was the first internationalization step for the company. R&D department was born in 1926, and ever since, the company continuously grew by increasing production plants and establishing subsidiaries in and out of Japan. DKS celebrated the 100th anniversary in 2009, and most recently, a new plant was constructed in Kasumi, Yokkaichi, in 2015.

History of DKS

1909 Business started at Ohno Kungyokudo
Anonymous association Ono Kungyokudo Cocoon Unwinding Agent Department established
Launched cocoon unwinding agent
1910 Launched MIYAKO scouring agent
1914 General partnership company Ono Kogyo Seiyakusho established
Production of textile processing oil agent and soap started
1915 Launch of Gembu Marseille Soap
1916 Headquarters and Kyoto Plant relocated to Shichijo-Senbon Higashi, Shimogyo-ku
1918 Dai-ichi Kogyo Seiyaku Co., Ltd. established (Capital: JPY 500,000)
1923 Cocoon Unwinding Agent renamed to SILKREELER
Shanghai representative office opened
First in-house newsletter published
1926 Headquarters & Kyoto Plant relocated to Shichijo-Senbon Minami, Shimogyo-ku
1927 R&D Department established
Corporate song established
1928 Gembu Marseille Soap won awards
1931 Shanghai Plant started operation
1934 Launched a higher alcohol-based detergent (later MONOGEN)
First company newsletter published
1935 Launched a softener PANSOFTER and GENBU SHAMPOO for household use
1939 Yokkaichi Plant opened for production of MONOGEN and PANSOFTER
1949 Listed on the Stock Exchange Market (Capital: JPY 60 million)
1950 Launched synthetic thickener sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) CELLOGEN
1952 Heavy oil combustion-driven parallel flow dryer for MONOGEN installed at Tokyo Plant
1953 Nonionic surfactant NOIGEN production started at Kyoto Plant
1956 Installed a counter-flow spray drier at Kyoto Plant
Synthetic detergent automatic packing machine installed
Capital: JPY 450 million
Launched Japan's first hollow granular synthetic detergent ALCO
1958 Business cooperation started with Royal Dutch Shell (UK)
1959 Yokkaichi Chemical Co., Ltd. established for production & sales of nonionic surfactants
1960 Ohgata Plant opened and production of CELLOGEN (CMC) by solvent method started
Capital: JPY 750 million
1961 Additionally installed a counter-flow spray drier at Kyoto Plant
Capital: JPY 1.3 billion
1963 Installed polyether production facilities at Yokkaichi Plant and started polyurethane business
1964 Nippon Teepol established
1966 All synthetic home detergents made "soft" (first among Japanese manufacturers)
Launched home laundry detergent ALCO COLOR
Established Dai-ichi General Co., Ltd. with General Mills
1967 Business cooperation started with Mitsuwa Kasei
1969 Flame retardant production facilities installed at Ohgata Plant
Launched flame retardant PYROGUARD
Ichikawa Plant opened
Nippon Levulose Co., Ltd. established
Nippon Sunhome established with Asahi Denka Kogyo & Mitsuwa Soap
Joint management of Dai-ichi Soap started
1970 Launched sucrose fatty acid esters DK ESTER
1972 Established P&G Sunhome
1973 Gembu Co., Ltd. was established for sales of detergents and machinery for professional laundry
1974 Launched thermoreactive textile finishing agent ELASTRON
1976 Launched pigment dispersant MONOPET SB
1977 Production agreement with P&G Sunhome
1978 Chin Yee Chemical Industries Ltd. established in Taiwan
1981 Launched radiation-curable monomer NEW FRONTIER
Established DKS International
Tokyo Plant shut down
1982 Launched polyurethane water dispersion SUPERFLEX
Dai-ichi Clean Chemical, Inc. and Dai-ichi Business Service Co., Ltd. established
1985 Nippon Levulose renamed to Dai-ichi Kagaku Kogyo
1986 Kyoto Elex Co., Ltd. established as a joint venture with Dowa Mining Co., Ltd.
1987 K&D Fine Chemical Corporation established as a joint venture with Kawasaki Steel Corporation
1988 Dai-ichi Ceramo Co., Ltd. established for production & sales of CIM and MIM materials
1989 80th anniversary
Dai-ichi Kenkou Co., Ltd. established for production & sales of materials for construction & civil engineering
1990 Capital: JPY 5,577 billion
Launched CFC/ethane-substituting water-based washing agent DK BE-CLEAR and electric insulating polyurethane EIMFLEX
1992 Sisterna B.V. established in the Netherlands
Launched polymerizable surfactant HITENOL
1996 P.T. Dai-ichi Kimia Raya established in Indonesia
Sucrose esters plant opened at Dai-ichi Kagaku Kogyo
Ozone Layer Protection Award granted by United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)
1998 Ohgata Plant CMC production ISO9002 certified
Joined Japan Responsible Care Council (JRCC)
2000 Yokkaichi Plant ISO9002 certified
Kyoto Plant shut down
Osaka Branch opened
Official website opened
2001 Dai-ichi Kagaku Kogyo Co., Ltd. merged to DKS, ISO9002 certified
2002 All plants ISO14001 certified
Elexcel Corporation established for battery materials R&D
Chin Yee Chemical Technologies (Wuxi) Co., Ltd. established in China
2003 All plants ISO9001 certified
First Environmental Safety Report published
Launched polyvinyl pyrrolidone CREEJUS & PITZCOL
2004 DKS (Shanghai) International Trading Co., Ltd. established in China
2005 Shuang Yi Li (Tianjin) New Energy Co., Ltd. was established in China
2006 Capital: JPY 6.650 billion
R&D laboratories ISO9001 certified
Laboratories relocated to Kisshoin, Kyoto
2007 Headquarters relocated to Kisshoin, Kyoto
2009 100th anniversary
2011 Capital: JPY 7.14 billion
Yokkaichi Chemical became 100% subsidiary
Tokyo Branch relocated to Kyobashi, Chuo-ku
2012 Tokyo Branch changed to Tokyo Headquarters
2013 English company name changed from Dai-ichi Kogyo Seiyaku Co., Ltd. to DKS Co. Ltd.
Launched cellulose nanofiber (CNF) RHEOCRYSTA
2015 Capital: JPY 8.90 billion
Kasumi Plant opened at Yokkaichi Branch
Dai-ichi Kogyo Seiyaku (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. established in Singapore
2016 First DKS Report (annual report) published
2017 Safety Education Center established at Kasumi Plant
2018 Biococoon Laboratories, Inc. became subsidiary
IKEDA YAKUSOU CO., LTD. became subsidiary