The DNA of the Company's foundation is in B2B

【Infographic】The Roots of Daiwa House Industry Go Back to JNR's warehouses

Daiwa House Industry was founded in 1955 by Nobuo Ishibashi, who was born the fifth son of a family operating a lumber business in Nara Prefecture. The company's roots go back to the warehouses of Japanese National Railways (JNR). This infographic presentation tells the founding story of Daiwa House Industry, now a company with 3 trillion yen in annual sales that is engaged in construction and comprehensive real estate solutions, including housing, logistics facilities, hotels, and more.

Daiwa House Industry Foundation Story Chapter 1 Motivation for Business Startup Devastatingly Changed Hometown

1921 Nobuo Ishibashi, Founder Born in Nara Prefecture Origin of the Company's name Nara Former name of Nara: Yamato (大和) Alternative reading of Yamato: Daiwa or Great Harmony (大和) Management with Great Harmony 1939 After graduating from a forestry high school, Ishibashi works for the Manchurian Forestry Agency. Outbreak of World War II Graduates from the Army Academy for Reserve Officers Seriously wounded during the war Harsh internment in Siberia after the war 1948 Demobilization and repatriation He saw his hometown area had been devastated by the war and natural disasters. To protect the forested hillsides, I will construct houses with alternative materials instead of lumber.


Chapter 2 The First Product Pipe House as an alternative to wooden houses Pipe House developed three months after Company founded Pipe House Pipes processed at the factory Assembled at construction sites Sales to Japanese National Railways JNR reluctant to do business with small and medium-sized companies This is the sort of new warehouse needed in this new era.

Enthusiasm prevails Pipe House widely adopted for use as warehouses, depots and offices, mainly by JNR and governmental agencies The quality and incredible speed to completion gains the Company a good reputation. High speed is the best possible service, and maximizes a company's profits.

Chapter 3 Forerunner of prefabricated housing Originating in a children's study room One day, Ishibashi goes out fishing for sweetfish, and notices children playing even after sunset. Even after going home, there's nowhere they can be at ease in their too-small houses. I'll make study rooms for children.

1959 Midget House, a study room that can be constructed within 3 hours, developed The Midget House is displayed and sold in department stores across Japan, and its popularity explodes. The origin of prefabricated housing 1960 The Super Midget House (with a bath and kitchen) launched, targeting newlyweds 1962 Large-scale residential complexes developed Daiwa House Industry becomes the first private development company Industrialization of Construction Focus of housing business switches from contract work to products developed in-house

Chapter 4 Passing on the Torch to Successors Keeping the "dream" alive Japanese achieve a higher living standard through high economic growth The day is approaching when people will pursue lives that are rich in a non-material way. Development of Resort Complexes 1978 Daiwa Royal Hotels Open Hotel management starts

Home center business 1980 Royal Home Center opens In this year Nobuo Ishibashi appointed chairman (age 59) His dream is to achieve 10 trillion yen in sales by the Company's centennial. This dream is passed on to his successors Nobuo Ishibashi passes away at age 81 in 2003 Fiscal 1995 1 trillion yen in sales achieved In 2015 60th anniversary of foundation Fiscal 2015 Likely to achieve 3 trillion yen in sales Under CEO Takeo Higuchi, the company continues to pursue Nobuo Ishibashi's dream

Born into a family operating a lumber business, Nobuo Ishibashi must have been intimately familiar with lumber. An interesting paradox of history is that it was precisely because he knew the weak points of lumber as a building material – and also strongly desired to protect the forested hillsides around his hometown – that he led the industrialization of construction by quickly focusing on building houses with steel pipe frameworks.

Even though Daiwa House Industry is primarily known as a housing manufacturer, its first clients were social infrastructure industries such as Japanese National Railways and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation. It is clear that the Company's DNA base was in B2B, though it later established a firm position as a housing manufacturer by building prefabricated housing and constructing new towns during Japan's rapid economic growth period.

Throughout his life, Nobuo Ishibashi constantly thought about what he could do for Japan. He maintained that the basis of corporate management should be to nurture people and develop society through business operations. In his last days, he passed on to his successors his dream of achieving 10 trillion yen in annual sales by the Company's centennial. Nobuo Ishibashi passed away at age 81, and to realize his dream, we must manage the Company by looking far beyond where others normally look in the future.

Daiwa House Industry marked its 60th anniversary in 2015. It is likely to achieve 3 trillion yen in sales as of March 2016. This is because, in addition to its core business of housing, the field of corporate services – the Company's origin – has become the driver for growth. This has been made possible by the accurate identification of corporate needs, including the promotion of effective land asset utilization, such as through the construction of large-scale logistics facilities and the development of roadside stores by the Company's retail and wholesale facilities business.

Under the leadership of its CEO, Takeo Higuchi, Daiwa House Industry makes untiring efforts to be a sustainable company, achieving further growth in the matured Japanese market and steadily developing the infinite potential of the global market, under its slogan, "ASUFUKAKETSUNO," meaning "essential for tomorrow" and standing for Safety and Security, Speed/Stock, Welfare, Environment, Health, Communications and Agriculture.

Infographics by Jun Sakurada (NewsPicks), text by Momoko Kyukawa (NewsPicks)

Back to top