Bishu’s Oldest
Woolen Textile Manufacturer.
HISTORY

Over 150 Years of History

KUNISHIMA SHOTEN, as we were once known, was established in 1850.
Our founder, Kunishima Buemon, wanted to “open up a brighter future for Japan,
which was under direct pressure from the West, by means of economic capabilities.’
Based on that aspiration, he launched a weaving business, as well as diversified operations such as
wholesale and finance businesses, centered around Bishu (today’s Ichinomiya).
In 1924, the Weaving Division was split off to form a separate company,
and CHUGAI KEORI Co., Ltd. was established with the hope of expanding in Japan and overseas.
It added manufacturing functions to its wholesale functions, and is the origin of today’s KUNISHIMA.
In 1965, we began technical cooperation and a sister company alliance with an Italian enterprise,
and engaged in overseas expansion. In 2020, we changed our company name to KUNISHIMA,
and announced our new slogan, ‘Making the world a gentler place with our fabrics.’
We want to go beyond the role of a traditional textile manufacturer, and create a gentler world
where people can connect and understand one another via fabrics and clothing.

KUNISHIMA SHOTEN, as we were
once known, was established in 1850.
Our founder, Kunishima Buemon,
wanted to “open up a brighter future
for Japan, which was under direct pressure
from the West, by means of
economic capabilities.’
Based on that aspiration, he launched a
weaving business, as well as diversified
operations such as wholesale and
finance businesses, centered around Bishu
(today’s Ichinomiya).

In 1924, the Weaving Division was
split off to form a separate company,
and CHUGAI KEORI Co., Ltd. was
established with the hope of expanding
in Japan and overseas.
It added manufacturing functions to
its wholesale functions, and is
the origin of today’s KUNISHIMA.
In 1965, we began technical cooperation
and a sister company alliance with
an Italian enterprise,and engaged in
overseas expansion. In 2020,
we changed our company
name to KUNISHIMA, and announced
our new slogan, ‘Making the world
a gentler place with our fabrics.’
We want to go beyond the role of a
traditional textile manufacturer,
and create a gentler world where
people can connect and understand
one another via fabrics and clothing.

Chronology

  • 1850

    Kunishima Buemon
    I founds a weaving company
    in Kita Imamura, Bisai

  • 1919

    KUNISHIMA SHOTEN
    Co., Ltd. established in
    Okoshi-cho, Nakashima-gun

  • 1921

    Branch opened in
    Shimouramachi, Ichinomiya

  • 1924

    Directly-managed factory incorporated as
    CHUGAI KEORI Co., Ltd.,
    a separate company

  • 1930

    Ichinomiya Branch moved
    into newly-built premises
    in front of
    Owariichinomiya Station
    (in Sakaemachi)

  • 1944

    Renamed KUNISHIMA CO., LTD.

  • 1948

    Tokyo Sales Office opened

  • 1949

    Osaka Sales Office opened

  • 1951

    Nagoya Sales Office opened

  • 1954

    CKK trademark registered

  • 1965

    Technical cooperation
    with Vincenzio Reloya (Italy)

  • 1967

    HIH Prince Takamatsu visits
    the CHUGAI KEORI Co., Ltd.
    Ichinomiya Factory

  • 1968

    Technical cooperation with
    Paul Beauclerc (France)

  • 1970

    Sister company alliance with
    David Wilkinson (UK)

  • 1971

    CHUGAI KEORI
    DIRECT MARKETING Co., Ltd.
    established

  • 1973

    Tokyo Belle Dame Co., Ltd.
    established

  • 1975

    CONTAIL Co., Ltd. established.
    Install our first 12 Sulzer looms.
    Install an IBM data
    processing system

  • 1981

    CHUGAI KEORI Co., Ltd.
    and KUNISHIMA CO., LTD.
    merge to form
    CHUGAI KUNISHIMA
    CORPORATION

  • 1985

    CPC Division opened
    in Sanjo, Bisai

  • 1987

    In possession of more than
    100 Sulzer looms

  • 1991

    Air jet loom installed

  • 1995

    Shanghai
    Chugai Kunishima Keori
    Co., Ltd. established

  • 1996

    Head Office Building completed

  • 2000

    Our 150th anniversary

  • 2002

    The first Japanese company
    to exhibit at
    Première Vision Paris

  • 2004

    QUEEN STYLE Co., Ltd.
    established

  • 2008

    Selected by the METI Small
    and Medium Enterprise Agency
    as one of Japan’s
    ‘300 Vibrant
    Manufacturing SMEs’

  • 2018

    CHUGAI KUNISHIMA
    CONCEPT TAILOR opens

  • 2020

    Company name changed to
    KUNISHIMA CO., LTD.

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一宮支店
(昭和5年頃)
一宮支店
(昭和5年頃)
一宮支店
(昭和5年頃)
一宮支店
(昭和5年頃)
Show more

Bishu, the Largest
Woolen Textile
Producing Area in Japan

Bishu is the name denoting a wide area with Ichinomya, Aichi at its heart and including a number of other cities,
such as Hashima, Nagoya, and Konan. Blessed with the abundant natural resources of the Kiso River watershed,
it has developed into a huge textile producing area, switching between the materials it uses, such as silk, cotton and wool,
depending on the needs of the era. Bishu switched to the production of woolen cloth after the Nobi Earthquake of 1891,
and currently produces around 80% of the woolen textiles woven in Japan. There is a cluster of
small and medium-sized factories specializing in woolen fabrics in Bishu, and they possess
highly sophisticated techniques in processes such as thread processing, dyeing, sorting, and finishing.

Bishu is the name denoting a wide area
with Ichinomya, Aichi at its heart
and including a number of other cities,
such as Hashima, Nagoya, and Konan.
Blessed with the abundant natural
resources of the Kiso River watershed,
it has developed into a huge textile
producing area, switching between
the materials it uses, such as silk,
cotton and wool, depending on
the needs of the era.
Bishu switched to the production of
woolen cloth after
the Nobi Earthquake of 1891, and
currently produces around 80% of
the woolen textiles woven in Japan.
There is a cluster of small and
medium-sized factories specializing
in woolen fabrics in Bishu,
and they possess highly sophisticated
techniques in processes such as thread
processing, dyeing, sorting, and finishing.

About Bishu About Bishu

Advanced Techniques

The many small and medium-sized highly-skilled processing workshops all specialize
in their own particular textiles and processes, creating distinctive products.

The many small and medium-sized
highly-skilled processing workshops
all specialize in their own particular
textiles and processes, creating
distinctive products.

Product Diversity

The ‘parent units’ (contracting factories) try out various thread combinations
in addition to utilizing the many distinctive processing factories,
and they work hard together to design and manufacture a diversity of products.

The ‘parent units’ (contracting factories)
try out various thread combinations in
addition to utilizing the many distinctive
processing factories, and they work hard
together to design and manufacture
a diversity of products.

The Softest Water in Japan

The softer the water is, the better it is at creating woolen fabric with a soft texture.
Bishu is truly lucky in that the water of the Kiso River is particularly soft, even for Japan,
and is abundant enough to be used for industrial purposes.

The softer the water is,
the better it is at creating woolen fabric with a soft texture.
Bishu is truly lucky in that the water of the Kiso River
is particularly soft, even for Japan,
and is abundant enough to be used for
industrial purposes.

The softer the water is,
the better it is at creating woolen fabric
with a soft texture.
Bishu is truly lucky in that the water
of the Kiso River is particularly soft,
even for Japan, and is abundant enough
to be used for industrial purposes.

Exclusive Infrastructure

The textile industry in Bishu has its own water treatment system.
In addition, Bishu is developing infrastructure as a producing area, such as Bishu Net,
an integrated production management system.

The textile industry in Bishu has its own water treatment system.
In addition, Bishu is developing infrastructure as a producing area,
such as Bishu Net, an integrated production management system.

The textile industry in Bishu
has its own water treatment system.
In addition, Bishu is developing
infrastructure as a producing area,
such as Bishu Net,
an integrated production
management system.