Sanzo Okazaki from Konan City, Aichi Prefecture, came to Tokyo at the age of 15. He began an apprenticeship as a shop boy at a wholesale thread store called Horikoshi Shoten, in Ishiwara, Sumida Ward.
World War II began, and regulations were put into effect that prohibited selling thread. Horikoshi Shoten closed its doors after 22 years of business.
After the war, Sanzo Okazaki started his own business, making and selling clothes, including traditional Japanese undergarments such as haramaki (belly bands) and miyakokoshimaki, (waistcloths), as well as gloves. He began wholesaling them in Yokoyama-cho.
Sanzo’s son, Yasuhiro Okazaki, founded Maruyasu Ltd. with ¥1.5 million of capital.
Maruyasu began to develop materials cooperatively with apparel makers and Suzuya, a major retail specialty chain. Its two-piece knitted wool sweater and pleated miniskirt set were big hits and became a sensation across the country. Fancy yarns became Maruyasu’s focus.
Maruyasu created product development teams in collaboration with San-Ai and many other major specialist retail chains.
Maruyasu began dealing with major trading firms such as Itochu and Tomen. Through Tomen, Maruyasu became the first Japanese firm to buy thread from Italy, France, and Peru.
Maruyasu had business with all best-selling apparel makers, targeting specialty stores. It seems a matter of course today, but, at the time, Maruyasu was the only firm developing new materials and making proposals for knitted textiles.
1980 to 1990
A boom among Designer and Character (DC) brands was started by “mansion makers (small sized apparel makers that mostly run business in a condominium).” Maruyasu’s two-piece knit outfit, made of Knit de Knit rayon, became a big hit, and we were once again the talk of the industry. As a result of this design’s success, we started to do more business with DC brands.
The new headquarters was built in Ryogoku 3-Chome.
Yasuhiro’s son, Hiroyuki Okazaki, joined Maruyasu, after 5 years’ service at a major trading firm.
Maruyasu began to emphasize showings of knitted textiles to designers, so as to give them a better idea of the look and quality of finished products.
Maruyasu exhibited its products at the Japan Creation tradeshow.
Hiroyuki Okazaki took over the position of CEO of Maruyasu, on its original founder’s 100th birthday.
In the firm’s 50th year, the company’s capital reached ¥55 million.
Maruyasu held an exhibition of its products at the 1st Best Knit Collection tradeshow.
KnitLabo was launched, offering a space where Maruyasu employees and customers can create together. This completely novel concept made big waves in the industry, receiving major media attention as a completely new business model.
Maruyasu celebrated its 55th anniversary.