Hsitroy of Matches

1827 (Bunsei 10) John Walker, an English pharmacist, invents "Friction Lights" and started to sell as "Walker Match."
1831 (Tenpo 2) Charles Saurir, a French Chemist, invents "Yellow Phosphorous Match."
1855 (Ansei 2) Johan Edvard Lundstrom of Jonkoping in Sweden invents "Swedish Safety Match" and he acquires patent right of it.
1865 (Keio 1) Bryant & May Co., Ltd in U.K. starts to manufacture and sell "Safety Match."
1869 (Meiji 2) G. Lemoine in France discovers "phosphorus sulphide."
1875 (Meiji 8) Production of Yellow phosphorus matches is banned in Denmark.
Makoto Shimizu succeeds to make trial matches at temporary factory built in Tomomi Yoshii's second house in Mitamikunimachi in Shiba, Tokyo.
1876 (Meiji 9) Hekisui Fukuyama, famous match label collector, was born in Tsunahamamura, Kamidogun, Okayama. His nickname was "Teijiro."
Makoto Shimizu establishes a company named "Shinsuisha" in Honsho-yanagihara, Tokyo and starts manufacturing of "Yellow Phosphorus Match."
1878 (Meiji 11) Matches made by Shinsuisha are first exported to Shanghai in China. The first exporting amount is 24,000 yen.
1879 (Meiji 12) Production of Yellow phosphorus matches is banned in Sweden.
Makoto Shimizu visits Jonkoping Co. in Sweden to learn manufacturing methods, etc. After he comes back to Japan, he starts to manufacture "safety match."
1880 (Meiji 13) Importing of overseas' matches is restricted, and importing amount decreases dramatically to 1660 yen.
Benzo Takigawa in Kobe establishes a company named "Seisuisha."
Teijiro Inoue in Osaka establishes a company named "Kouekisha."
1884 (Meiji 17) Exporting of matches goes down dramatically, which affects match business to become seriously slow. Exporting amount is noticeably the lowest in this year.
Regulation of trademark is enacted on October 1st for the first time in Japan.
1885 (Meiji 18) Toxicity of yellow phosphorus results in social problems, so production of yellow phosphorus matches is temporarily stopped.
According to the trademark regulation, "Crouching Lion" by Seisuisha is first registered as match label design of No. 321 on June 20th.
1886 (Meiji 19) Ginbei Hata in Kobe establishes match company named "Hata Match Factory."
1887 (Meiji 20) Masanosuke Naoki in Kobe establishes match company named "Shikakusha."
Economy of match industry finally passes through the sluggish stage.
1888 (Meiji 21) Shinsuisha goes bankrupt. Makoto Shimizu goes to Kanazawa to live the life of a recluse.
1890 (Meiji 23) Riki Sato follows Makoto Shimizu on the business and reopens Shinsuisha in Fukagawa, Tokyo.
"Yellow Phosphorus Match" is permitted to start production in Japan.
1893 (Meiji 26) Nippon Yusen begins the sea route to Bombay, so matches are exported directly to India from Japan.
1894 (Meiji 27) Nisshin War (Sino-Japanese war) starts.
1896 (Meiji 29)
Naoki matches are first exported to Singapore with association of Mitsui Bussan. This is the first experience for a Japanese company to export Japan made matches.
1897 (Meiji 30)
Benzo Takigawa merges another company named "Ryosuisha" and establishes a new firm, "Ryosui Partnership Company." He buys the company for 120,000 yen, including the trademark of "Long Tail Chicken" which is 50,000 yen.
Makoto Shimizu petitions for building of a match factory called "kyokusuikan" in Amagasaki City, and also acquires the patent right of match making machine (Shinrinsunjikuhairetsuki).
1899 (Meiji 32)
Makoto Shimizu passed away on February 8th. He was 53 years old. Memorial statue is built in August in the precincts of Kameido Tenjin Shrine, Tokyo to praise his achievements.
1900 (Meiji 33)
Sadajiro Inoue of Koekisha, Osaka invents new match named "thin-stick match." Before one box of safety match contained about 60 sticks, but his invention enables the box to contain 100 - 120 sticks.
1903 (Meiji 36)
Collectors' club named "Rinshikinshukai" is founded by Hekisui Fukuyama, Icchousai Yanagawa, Katsura Bunraku, and Chuto Hayakawa. Then the first meeting is held on November 24th.
1904 (Meiji 37)
Prohibition Treaty of Manufacturing Yellow Phosphorus Match is concluded at the "International Meeting For Workers Protection." But Japan does not sign the treaty.
Nichiro War (Russia - Japan war) starts.
Tobacco business is decided as government monopoly on July 1st. Commercial tobacco totally disappears.
1907 (Meiji 40)
Allying with Mitsui Bussan, "Japan Match Manufacturing Company" is established by Seinosuke Naoki and Yoshitomo Honda, who then are appointed as major directors of the company.
Hekisui Fukushima holds "Japan Rinshikinshukai's Match Label Exhibition" on March 25th at the Chuo Newspaper's Home Building, resting house during the Tokyo Kangyo Exposition.
1914 (Taisho 3) World War I starts.
1916 (Taisho 5) Benzo Takigawa reestablishes "Takigawa Match Co., Inc." uniting Seisuisha and Ryosuisha, both of which he had been operating.
1917 (Taisho 6) Takigawa Match Co., Inc. associates with Suzuki Store and reforms the company. The new company is called "Toyo Match Co., Inc."
1918 (Taisho 7) Teikoku Match Co., Inc. is established. 15 match companies in Osaka area join in the affiliation.
Five companies of Japan Kamijiku Seizo Match, Isayama Match, Azuma Match, Yamada Match and Koekisha integrate business into new company called Chuo Match Co., Inc.
1919 (Taisho 8) Export of matches reaches to the highest point and the amount is more than 40 million yen: precisely 41.98 million yen.
1920 (Taisho 9) Match Collectors' bulletin book named "Nishiki" is first published by Japan Rinshikinshukai on November 27th.
1922 (Taisho 11) Prohibition Treaty of yellow phosphorus match production is internationally agreed at the Washington International Labor Conference.
Production of yellow phosphorus matches and its exporting are prohibited.
1923 (Taisho 12) All of yellow phosphorus match factories in Osaka and Nagoya go bankrupt, since the production of yellow phosphorus matches is banned.
Outbreak of big earthquake in Kanto area.
1924 (Taisho 13)
The first meeting of Kansai Match Label Study and Match Label Exhibition is held at Shirokiya-gofukuten (kimono store) in Osaka, Sakaisuji between August 25 - 27.
1925 (Taisho 14) Benzo Takigawa, the match tycoon in Japan passed away on January 12. He was 73 years old.
1926 (Taisho 15) "Match Label Exhibition" is held by Commercial Match Label Collectors and Japan Rinshikinshukai from January 17th to 23rd at Matsuya Department Store in Ginza.
The First Match Label Exhibition by Advertising Match Label Association of Kobe is held at Shinkaichi Kobe Department Store in Kobe, Minatogawa between February 10 - 14.
To celebrate 10th Anniversary of Osaka Match Label Club, Match Label Hobby Exhibition is held at Takarazuka Shin Onsen (New Spa) in Osaka between February 19 - 23.
Hobby Party of Collected Items' Exhibition is held in March at Matsuzakaya Department Store in Nagoya.
No. 2 Match Label Exhibition is held by Kansai Label Study Association between August 28th - 30th at Shirokiya Gofukuten (Kimono Store) in Osaka Sakaisuji.
1927 (Showa 2) "Daido Match Co., Inc." is established by Sweden Match Trust by reorganizing Toyo Match and Koekisha, which is partly owned by a Swedish company.
"Asahi Match Co., Inc." is also established by Sweden Match Trust by uniting Isayama Match and Kamata Match Company.
The entire amount of Hekisui Fukuyama's label collection reaches to 200,000 items.
1928 (Showa 3) Daido Match Co., Inc. and Asahi Match Co., Inc., both are partially owned by Swedish Company, occupy 70% of the match market in Japan.
Chinese movement of "elimination of Japanese currency" arises and amount of match export falls.
1929 (Show 4) Grand Exhibition of Match Labels is held at Shinbashi Theater in Tokyo during performance of play, "Match," from June 1 to June 23.
"Exhibition of Hobby Designs and Match Labels" is held at Matsuzakaya Department Store in Nagoya from August 14th to 18th.
Stock prices go downturn drastically and world economic woes begin in October.
1930 (Showa 5) Sweden Match Trust led by Kruger acquires match monopoly in 25 countries in the world.
"Exhibition of Hobby Design Match Labels" is held by "Society of Various Hobbies" at Matsuzakaya Department Store in Osaka from February 21st to 26th.
All Japan Exhibition of Match Labels is held by Japan Rinshikinshukai at Matsuzakaya Department Store in Ueno, Tokyo from August 26th to 31st.
1932 (Showa 7) Affected by European economical downturn, Sweden Match is encumbered, and Kruger, the owner, commits suicide.
Losing back up of Swedish capital, Daido Match Co., Inc. is merged by Hisahara Konzern (Japan company group), led by Yoshisuke Ayukawa, to launch a new business venture.
Match export to the U.S.A. prospers surprisingly.
1934 (Showa 9) Hekisui Fukuyama passed away on March 3. He was 57 years old.
Memorial statue of Hekisui Fukuyama is built in the precincts of Kameido Shrine on September 26th.
1935 (Showa 10) Advertising matches and premium matches successfully thrive in the market.
1937 (Showa 12) Publication of members' booklet, "Nishiki" is discontinued on April 25th. No. 83 was the last issue.
1939 (Showa 14) Daido Match Co., Inc. is integrated into Nissan Agriculture and Forestry Industry.
Outbreak of the World War II.
1940 (Showa 15) Match allowance system is regulated.
1941 (Showa 16) Ticket distribution system of match, sugar, flour, and salad oil is determined.
Outbreak of the Pacific War.
1945 (Showa 20) Most of match factories in Japan are burnt down by attacks of U.S. Air force.
The World War II ends.
1948 (Showa 23) Match allowance system is demolished. Economic freedom of match sales is restored. Number of match factories increase from 50 to 158.
1950 (Showa 25) Outbreak of Korean War activates Japan's economy to be buoyant.
1953 (Showa 28) JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) of safety match is stipulated.
1956 (Showa 31) Starting around this year, matchbox changes from wooden-made to paper-made. Customization of matches begins.
1960 (Showa 35) Trademark Regulation named "Showa 35 Rule" is enforced. The copyright life of trademark is shortened from 20 years to 10 years.
Demand of advertising matches increases, and its production reaches to 39% of whole production.
1973 (Showa 48) Production of matches reaches to 800,000 tons for the first time after the war, including exported matches of 18,000 tons.
1975 (Showa 50)
Memorial statue of Makoto Shimizu, which was damaged during the war, is rebuilt in the precincts of Kameido Tenjin Shrine. Also Makoto Shimizu's honorable monument is newly built.
1986 (Showa 61)
"Monument of Match Origin in Japan" is built at Ryougoku High School in Sumidaku, Tokyo, where match factory of Shinsuisha was once built and operated by Makoto Shimizu.
1994 (Heisei 6) Teiichi Yoshizawa, who Guinness Book of World Records described as the No. 1 match label collector in the world, passed away. He was 90 years old.
1995 (Heisei 7) Outbreak of strong earthquake in Hanshin and Awaji region.
Match Label Exhibition: "History of Modern Time and Present Time learning from items in pockets" is held at Tobacco & Salt Museum in Shibuya, Tokyo from September 9th to October 15th.
2002 (Heisei 14) "Match Label Graphic Exhibition," by MOTS Gallery Creation is held at Morisawa, Iidabashi, Tokyo from January 15th to March 29th.
"Classic Label Art Exhibition" is held in Himeji from October 1st to 6th.
"Match Exhibition 2002" is held in Osaka from December 19th to 21st.
2004 (Heisei 16)
"The World Of Match Labels, Designs Learning From Things In Pocket" is held at Tobacco and Salt Museum in Shibuya, Tokyo from October 30th to January 10th, 2005.
2005 (Heisei 17) The 130th Anniversary of Match Manufacturing in Japan.
"Grand Exhibition of Match Labels" is held at Okayama Prefecture's Museum from April 26th to May 29th.
"The World Of Match Art: Match Label Nostalgic Exhibition" is held at Matsuzakaya Department Store in Nagoya from May 4th to 16th.