1653 Ozu Seizaemon-Nagahiro opens paper wholesale store Ozu Seizaemon-ten in Edo’s commercial district of Odemmacho (currently the location of the Head Office in Tokyo)

“Prosperous Odemma district of the Eastern Capital”
by Utagawa Hiroshige
1698 Ozu opens a cotton store in Odemmacho
1755年 Ozu joins a currency purveyor group of the Kishu feudal domain in Matsusaka (Mie Prefecture), and is appointed currency purveyor to Edo (Tokyo)

Back      Front
Hansatsu (feudal scrip used as currency)
1784 The 7th generation, Seizaemon-Nagayasu, opens Ohashi-ya, facing the main store, also handling tea and skipjack tuna shavings “imported” from Osaka

Signboard of Tsuchinoto Ichiban-gumi paper wholesaler association
1880 Ozu takes over the Western machine-made paper business of YK Tokyo Yoshi Kaisha and renames it Ozu Yoshi-ten (capital 100,000 yen)

Store in the Meiji period (1868–1912)
1886 Ozu and fellow cotton wholesalers form a tie-up and establish spinning mill Tokyo Boseki Kaisha (capital 500,000 yen)
1899 Ozu establishes Ozu Bank (capital 100,000 yen) in Matsusaka, Mie Prefecture

Ozu Bank building in Matsusaka
1903 Ozu purchases the filament and spinning factory of Nippon Saishi Boseki Kaisha and establishes Ozu Saishi Boseki-jo

Ozu Saishi Boseki-jo office
1920 Takebayashi Yoko is absorbed into Ozu Saishi Boseki-jo, establishing Ozu-Takebayashi Kigyo KK
1927 Ozu Bank merges with Yokkaichi Bank (currently Mie Bank) amid the Showa financial crisis
1929 GSK Ozu Shoten is established to form an incorporated organization
1939 Ozu Shoji KK is established in Nihombashi-ku, Tokyo City (currently the location of the Head Office) to modernize management
1941 Manchuria Ozu Shoji KK (capital 150,000 yen) is established in Hsinking New Capital (Changchun)
1944 Ozu Shoji KK is renamed Ozu Corporation
1946 The domestic paper sales division of GSK Ozu Shoten is acquired, integrating paper sales divisions amid the lifting of the price control ordinance
1957 Ozu Corporation’s Western paper division merges with Honcho Shoji KK, establishing KK Ozu Yoshi-ten (capital 20 million yen) to expand Western paper sales

GSK Ozu Shoten
1964 Chofu sales office opens
1967 Osaka sales office (currently Osaka Branch) opens
1971 Ozu celebrates 300th anniversary of founding, completing Ozu Honkan Building at the founding location of Ozu Honten
1973 Asahi-Ozu Corporation (capital 20 million yen) is established in Chuo-ku, Tokyo, and a nonwovens processing plant constructed in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, as a 1:1 joint venture with Asahi Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. (currently Asahi Kasei Corporation)
1974 Chiba sales office opens
1975 Saitama Branch opens
1978 GSK Ozu Shoten is renamed Ozu Shoten Co., Ltd. Ozu Corporation capital is increased to 50 million yen
1979 KK Ozu Yoshi-ten is renamed Ozu Kami Shoji KK
1982 KK Ozu Yoshi-ten is renamed Ozu Kami Shoji KK
1983 Distribution Center (currently Saitama No. 1 Logistics Center) opens
1984 Ozu celebrates 330th anniversary of founding, merging with Ozu Kami Shoji KK (capital 100 million yen) to expand operations and streamline management
1989 Dec. Ozu Techno Co., Ltd. (capital 25 million yen) is established in Chuo-ku, Tokyo, for nonwoven products processing
1992 June Ozu merges with KK Taisei Yoshi-ten and acquires Washi Hakubutsuho business rights from Ozu Shoten Co., Ltd. to launch retail division
1993 Jan. Omiya No. 2 Logistics Center (currently Saitama No. 2 Logistics Center) opens
Feb. Ozu Corporation capital is increased to 510,200,000 yen
1995 Jan. Chofu Branch is relocated; Fuchu Logistics Center and Fuchu Branch open
Apr. Overseas Development Office China liaison office (currently Wuhan Office) opens
1996 Feb. Ozu Corporation shares are listed on Japan Securities Dealers Association (currently JASDAQ); capital is increased to 889,700,000 yen
July Sendai satellite office* opens * Currently renamed and continuing operations under Azfit Co., Ltd.
1997 Nov. Ozu obtains medical devices manufacturer and distributor license (GMP) from Ministry of Health and Welfare (currently Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare)
1998 Jan. Ozu History Museum opens in Washi Hakubutsuho Dec. Ozu merges with Honei KK to further streamline management foundation
1999 Mar. Ozu Techno Co., Ltd. acquires all issued shares of Nippon Plant Seeder Co., Ltd., making it a subsidiary
May Singapore liaison office (currently Singapore Branch) opens
Dec. Ozu Corporation capital is increased to 1,322,210,000 yen
2000 Sept. Kanagawa Logistics Center* and Kanagawa Branch open
*Currently renamed and continuing operations under Azfit Co., Ltd.
2001 June Ozu Corporation shares are listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange Second Section
2002 Oct. Ozu Group obtains ISO 14001 certification for environmental management system
2003 Apr. Ozu celebrates 350th anniversary of founding
Sept. Saitama No. 3 Logistics Center opens
2004 Jan. Ozu compiles 350-year annals
July Hong Kong liaison office (later Hong Kong Branch) opens
2005 Jan. Ozu Washi and Ozu History Museum are relocated to Ozu Honkan Building (Ozu founding location)
2006 Sept. Ozu acquires all issued shares of KK Kamikano, making it a subsidiary
2007 Apr. Shanghai liaison office opens
Ozu Group obtains ISO 9001 certification for quality management system
Dec. Household papers and daily sundries business is transferred to KK Kamikano in an absorption-type split; KK Kamikano is renamed Azfit Co., Ltd.
2008 May Kyushu satellite office opens
June Plant factory is established in Fuchu, Tokyo, launching Nihombashi Yasai vegetables business
2009 Dec. Washi business is transferred to Ozu Shoten Co., Ltd. to concentrate management resources on the mainstay businesses of nonwovens and household papers
2010 June Tohoku satellite office and Chubu satellite office open
2011 Feb. Ozu (Shanghai) Trading Co., Ltd. is established
2013 May Ozu acquires all issued shares of Dipro Co., Ltd., making it a subsidiary
2014 July Ozu (Thailand) Co., Ltd. is established
July Ozu Corporation shares are listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange First Section
2017 Mar. Ozu Corporation, Enviro Tech Chemical Services, Inc., and the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (Zen-noh) establish joint venture Enviro Tech Japan Co., Ltd. (capital 100 million yen)

Ozu Honkan Building at present

Origins of company name

The history of paper wholesaler Ozu (currently the Ozu Group) begins with Ozu Seizaemon-Nagahiro. On August 9, 1653, at the age of 29, Nagahiro opened a store at Odemmacho 1-chome, Edo (currently Tokyo). He named his business Ozu-ya and designed the Uroko Kyu symbol as a trademark. The name Ozu-ya was recommended by Ozu Sanjuro, a close friend and fellow native of Matsusaka, as being an auspicious name for a prospering store. At this time, Nagahiro himself also took up the name Ozu-ya Seizaemon or Ozu Seizaemon.

The Uroko Kyu crest, designed with a triangular fish scale (uroko) and the character kyu, has been in use since our founding. An embodiment of our relationship with our customers and the unwavering management efforts of our predecessors, we believe this is the greatest asset and cherished treasure of the Ozu Group.