T. Kobayashi & Co.1891-1917
- Founder Tomijiro Kobayashi established T. Kobayashi & Co. on the Yanagihara riverside in Kanda, Tokyo, to trade in soap and match raw materials.
(Photo) Overlooking the Kanda River, the red brick store and warehouse stood between Saemonbashi bridge and the slightly closer Mikurabashi bridge, near what is now 8-ban, Higashi Kanda 2-chome.
- Launched beauty soap Kohyo Soap and laundry soaps Soft Soap and Kenren Soap
- Began research and product development focused on the tooth brushing powder market
- Launched Lion Toothpowder
- Began using a marching band with musicians and an announcer to advertise the Company's products.
(Photo) The marching band consisted of musicians from the Hinode Band, also located on the Yanagihara riverside in Kanda, near T. Kobayashi & Co., and an announcer.
- Opened the Osaka Branch
- Began selling tooth brushing powder packets with donation slips as a social contribution activity (this program continued for 20 years, until 1920)
- Opened the Kobayashi Night School for employees.
(Photo) Men's class at Kobayashi Night School, circa 1907.
The school invited famous lecturers to give classes.
- Exhibited Lion Toothpowder at the St. Louis World's Fair in the United States, receiving an honorary silver medal
- Established Kobayashi Laboratory to test raw materials and conduct research into new products.
(Photo) Kobayashi Laboratory, established to test raw materials for quality management and conduct research into new products, circa 1907.
Established alongside Tokyo Laboratory, this laboratory also accepted commissions from the public.
- Opened the Nagoya Branch
- Founder Tomijiro Kobayashi passed away aged 59
- Established Lion Soap Factory as a partnership firm
- Launched Lion Dental Cream, a toothpaste packaged in a tube (using imported tubes)
- Established policy of concentrating on the tooth brushing business (began consideration of ending handling of other companies' products and spinning off the soap business)
- Launched Lion Arai Soap no.1-4, a fatty acid laundry soap
- Launched Lion Kodomo Toothpaste for children
- Hosted the Company's first public oral hygiene lecture (later named the Lion Public Lectures).
(Photo) Program of the lecture, which was held at the Tokyo YMCA in Kanda. At the time, there were no dentistry specialists publicly teaching oral hygiene, and the lecture benefitted greatly from the participation of Shusaku Midorikawa.
- Launched the Banzai Toothbrush, developed based on guidance from the Tokyo Dental School (now Tokyo Dental College)
- Moved the Company's base of operations to near Honjo Umayabashi, (Sotote-machi, Honjo-ku, today Honjo, Sumida-ku)
Kobayashi Co., Ltd.1918-1979
- Established Kobayashi Co., Ltd.
- Lion Toothpowder received certification of excellent quality and effectiveness from the London Institute of Hygiene in the United Kingdom.
(Photo) Certificate of quality and effectiveness from the London Institute of Hygiene, then the world's premiere institution for evaluating the quality of hygienic products.
- Established the first dental clinic in Japan to specialize in pediatric dentistry, later renamed the Lion Dental Clinic for Children
- Created Oral Hygiene, an eight-reel movie about the science of oral hygiene
- Began mass production of Lion Dental Cream following the start of mass production of tubes in Japan
- Launched the Lion Banzai Toothbrush No.5 for children
- Co-sponsored the first Cavity Prevention Day
- Launched large-sized packages of Lion Toothpowder, for families
- Co-sponsored the fifth Cavity Prevention Day and held the first Mass Tooth Brushing Drill for children
- Completed the new Tokyo Plant.
(Photo) The new factory had a site area of over 2,700 square meters and total floor area of over 6,900 square meters. The modern building had one five-story section, with the rest all two stories. Having previously renovated its Osaka-bun Factory, the completion of the Tokyo Factory meant that the Company had cutting-edge toothpaste factories in both East and West Japan.
- Launched Lion Tooth Moistened-Powder, which helped solve such drawbacks of toothpowder as splatter and clumping.
- Published The History of Toothpaste, the first history of the Company
- Established the Kyushu Office
- Launched Medicated Lion Kodomo Toothpaste for children
- Launched a promotional campaign centered on the concept of getting 10 million people to brush their teeth before bed
- Held the 9th Mass Tooth Brushing Drill for children (the last until 1953 because of the war)
- Launched Lion F Cream, Japan's first toothpaste with fluoride
- Changed the Company name to The Lion Dentifrice Co., Ltd.
- Launched Medicated Lion Toothpaste, a toothpaste packaged in tubes
- Launched the Lion Toothbrush with nylon bristles from U.S.-based DuPont
- Launched the Lion Health Car, a promotional bus outfitted for dental examinations
- Co-sponsored the first Mother-Child Good Teeth Competition
- Held the 10th Mass Tooth Brushing Exercise for Schoolchildren, renamed from the pre-war event
- Launched Chlorophyll Lion Toothpaste, formulated with chlorophyll
- Launched Super Lion toothpowder formulated with fluoride and Super Lion Tooth Moistened-Powder
- Launched dental hygiene activities for mothers and their children (later named the "Tanpopo Initiative")
- Established Lion Dentifrice (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.
- Launched White Lion toothpaste incorporating the new active ingredient calcium phosphate, which is highly effective for whitening teeth
- Launched the Cherry Program industrial dental health activity. The Cherry Program grew by targeting companies and workplaces, and offered guidance and advice related to oral hygiene.
- Announced the creation of a manufacturing complex with Lion Fat and Oil Co., Ltd.
- Launched Tobacco Lion, a toothpowder for smokers
- Launched Vitalis hair-styling product for men and Ban antiperspirants and deodorants through a technological tie-up with Bristol-Myers Co. (currently, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company) of the United States
- Launched BUFFERIN antipyretic analgesics
- Launched Dentor Lion toothpaste, which helped protect against alveolar pyorrhea
- Completed the Odawara Plant to mass produce toothpastes
(Photo) The Shinkansen bullet train passes the newly opened Odawara Plant. Designed mainly for the integrated mass production of a small number of products, the plant became the core of the production system to accommodate future diversification.
- Established a Marketing Department and introduced the product manager system
- Established the Lion Foundation For Dental Health
- Launched Rolling Lion, a toothbrush suited for the rolling method of brushing
- Established Bristol-Myers Lion Ltd.
- Established Lion Dentifrice (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
- Formed an alliance with McCormick & Company, Inc. of the United States to sell 82 varieties of seasonings
- Launched Etiquette Lion, a toothpaste for preventing bad breath
- Established the All Lion Society in cooperation with Lion Fat and Oil Co., Ltd.
- Launched Bannet Lion, a toothbrush with an arched handle that makes it easy to brush the back surfaces of teeth
- Completed the Akashi Plant to mass produce toothbrushes
- Launched White & White Lion toothpaste in laminated tubes
- Completed the new head office building. Cornerstone laying and completion ceremonies were held to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Company's founding on October 30, 1971.
- Built the Biological Experiment Center in Odawara as a joint venture with Lion Fat and Oil Co., Ltd.
- Established the Consumer Center (later renamed the Consumer Service Office)
- Celebrated 80 years since the founding of the Company as T. Kobayashi & Co.
- Published 80 Years of Lion Toothpastes, a Company history
- Established Lion Products Co., Ltd. with a view to merging with Lion Fat and Oil Co., Ltd.
- Merged with Lion Fat and Oil Co., Ltd. to form Lion Corporation
Lion Soap Co., Ltd.1919-1979
- The Soap Division of Kobayashi Co., Ltd. was spun off to become Lion Soap Co., Ltd.
- Launched Plant-derived Lion Laundry Soap, the first plant-derived household laundry soap made in Japan
- Entered sales alliance with the mediation office of the National Central Industrial Alliance (later the Zenkouren national buyer's association, which then become part of National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations)
- Began laundry training courses to improve living conditions in agricultural and fishing villages
- Successfully produced glycerin meeting Japanese Pharmacopoeia requirements using in-house proprietary technology
- Launched Kumiai Powder Soap through the Zenkouren national buyer's association
- Launched Mikuni Powder Soap
- Established the Laundry Information Service Center
- Completed the Hirai Factory (forerunner to the Tokyo Plant), which housed integrated soap manufacturing facilities as well as a solid-oil refinery, a glycerin plant and an alcohol plant.
(Photo) The Hirai Factory, completed in 1936. The Company's headquarters relocated to Hirai in 1937.
- Dissolved the Laundry Information Service Center into the newly established Lion Laundry Science Laboratories on the grounds of the Tokyo Plant.
In 1938, a two-story, 330 square meter laboratory building was completed. The laboratory held lectures on laundering and performed theoretical analyses of the laundering process.
- Launched Mikuni Maruseru Powder Soap
- Published Standard Household Laundry Methods, a booklet that was adopted as a home economics text at many girls' high schools.
(Photo) This booklet, compiled by the Lion Laundry Science Laboratories, was used as an educational text at many girls' high schools.
Until this point, there had been no authoritative information about laundering. The booklet filled this need with experimental scientific information on many related topics.
- Launched Lipon, a high-quality alcohol-based detergent for cleaning such natural fibers as silks and furs as well as tableware
- Launched the cutting oil Dash
- Formed a capital alliance with Nippon Chemical Industries, a Mitsubishi Group company, and changed the Company name to Lion Fat and Oil Co., Ltd.
- Ran successful production test of aviation lubricant derived from palm oil
- Received a Ministry of Commerce and Industry research grant for experimental mining technologies for research related to manufacturing synthetic detergent from oil found in low-temperature tar
- Launched Lion Powder Soap
- Invested in Toshiba Fats and Oils, Co., Ltd.
- Received a Ministry of International Trade and Industry industrialization test grant for research related to using palm oil in industrial applications and the development of plasticizer dioctyl phthalate for vinyl chloride
- Held the Fun Night for Lion Soap Users (this later became the Lion Jab Jab Show)
- Launched Lion Shampoo Powder
- Launched Lion Powder Laundry Soap for Washing Machines
- Built the Company's first spray drying tower
- Launched Lipon F, Japan's first kitchen detergent for washing fruits, vegetables and tableware. Lipon F was the first product endorsed by the Japan Food Hygiene Association and created an entirely new market.
- Built a second spray drying tower for the manufacture of granular synthetic detergent.
(Photo) Completed in April 1956, the tower as 7 meters in diameter, 20 meters high, and had a daily production capacity of two metric tons. For a short time, the tower provided more than sufficient production capacity, but with growth of Lipon F sales and the commencement of TOP production, the tower was soon operating at maximum capacity.
- Established the Lion Household Science Laboratories
- Completed the technology for Japan's first continuous sulfonation equipment
- Installed equipment for continuous fatty acid ester saponification (the ES method).
Lion began operating new continuous fatty acid ester saponification equipment using the ES method for manufacturing soap. In this method, ester substitution using a methanol medium was used to produce methyl ester from fats and oils. This was then saponified using caustic soda to produce soap, and the methanol freed was then circulated for re-use.
- Announced the creation of a manufacturing complex with The Lion Dentifrice Co., Ltd.
- Launched Japan's first foam-suppressing laundry detergent, Hi TOP
- Launched Acron, a laundry detergent for wool and other delicate fabrics
- Completed the Kawasaki Plant
- Launched Blue Dia, a mixed laundry detergent containing white and blue grains
- Launched Emeron shampoo, which imparted a pleasant fragrance to washed hair
- Launched Emeron beauty soap, a soft-on-the-skin, easy-to-lather soap
- Launched Mama Lemon, a smooth-on-the-skin, lotion-type detergent for washing tableware and vegetables
- Completed alpha-olefin sulfonation technology
- Established The Lion Fat and Oil (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
- Launched the laundry detergent Dash, containing alpha olefin sulfonate (AOS), a new, highly biodegradable surfactant
- Established the All Lion Society in cooperation with The Lion Dentifrice Co., Ltd.
- Completed the Osaka Plant on October 1. In addition to increasing the Company's production capacity, the factory was built with a warehouse that shipped products throughout the Kansai region through shipping centers, greatly helping to modernize the Company's distribution operations.
- Launched Emeron Cream Rinse hair conditioner. Marketing involved a famous television commercial and the product became a hit.
- Completed the new head office building in April 1971
- Built the Biological Experiment Center in Odawara as a joint venture with The Lion Dentifrice Co., Ltd. (later reorganized as the Biological Science Research Laboratories)
- Established the Consumer Consultation Office (later renamed the Consumer Service Office)
- Launched Seseragi, Japan's first phosphate-free detergent
- Launched Spark 25, a compact detergent with low phosphate content
- Participated in an international soap and detergent conference and presented technology for manufacturing low-phosphate detergent
- Established Lion Products Co., Ltd. with a view to merging with The Lion Dentifrice Co., Ltd.
- Launched TOP, a laundry detergent with enzyme power
- Launched Mama Royal, a soft-on-the-skin dishwashing detergent
- Merged with The Lion Dentifrice Co., Ltd. to form Lion Corporation
Lion Corporation 1980-
- Launched Between Lion, a toothbrush designed to clean between the teeth
- Launched a phosphate-free version of Enzyme Power TOP
- Launched CLINICA Lion, a toothpaste with enzymes that break down cavity-causing dental plaque
- Launched Charmy Green, a soft-on-the-skin dishwashing detergent
- Created the Pinpon System to reflect customer input in products. This system was replaced with the New Pinpon System in 1996.
- Launched Smile Ace antibacterial eyedrops
- Launched Hi TOP super-concentrated laundry detergent with high-performance enzymes. Just 25 g of this detergent was sufficient to clean a typical load of laundry.
- Held a ceremony celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Company's founding (a company history, 100 Years of Lion, was published the following year)
- Commercialized PSS, an additive for coal-water-mixture fuel for thermal power generation
- Launched Spark laundry detergent with environmentally friendly plant-based ingredients derived from palm oil
- Launched Emeron Shokubutsu-Monogatari (Plant Story), a beauty soap made with 100% plant ingredients
- Launched Dentor Systema Lion, a brand of liquid toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouthwash for preventing periodontal disease
- To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the Lion Foundation for Dental Health held the Dental Seminar for dentists from around Japan
- PC Clinica Toothbrushes received Good Design designation from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry
- Received the 1996 award from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry for the most positive consumer oriented business
- Launched KireiKirei Medicated Hand Soap, formulated with an antibacterial agent
- Announced a comprehensive tie-up with Henkel KGaA of Germany to handle household products
- Launched Charmy V, a dishwashing detergent with long-lasting cleaning power that can disinfect sponges
- Won the Asahi Shimbun Foundation "Response to Consumer Need Award" in the Grand Award for Corporate Social Contribution
- Established the Lion Dental Research Award, a science award given by the International Association for Dental Research (IADR)
- Launched Heyaboshi TOP, a laundry detergent that allows clothes to be hung up to dry indoors without developing a musty smell
- Launched BUFFERIN Plus, combining acetylsalicylic acid, the analgesic ingredient in BUFFERIN A, with three additional active agents
- Held the 59th Mass Tooth Brushing Exercise for School Children
- Acquired the over-the-counter (OTC) drug business of Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., including the health tonics Guronsan and New Guromont, Varsan insecticides, and Shin-Chugai Ichoyaku gastrointestinal medicine
- Took over operations of the Home & Personal Care Division of CJ Corporation in South Korea
- Launched Guronsan Red with a new marketing campaign
- Launched LOOK Kirei no Mist series of antibacterial and sanitary sprays for the toilet, bathroom, kitchen, and cloth items
- Acquired trademark rights to the BUFFERIN brand
- Began construction of a plant in Malaysia for manufacturing plant-based surfactant
- Received the 16th Grand Prize for the Global Environment Award
- Launched CHARMY Awa no Chikara (Power of Suds) dishwashing detergent
- Launched TOP Fuaikan laundry detergent
- Launched Dentor Clear MAX Lion toothpaste
- Launched CLINICA Cavity Protect toothpaste
- Selected by the global SRI (socially responsible investing) index FTSE4Good Global Index
- Became the first manufacturer to receive Eco First certification from the Ministry of the Environment and participated in the "Eco First Program" proclamation
- Founded the Lion Award Japan, awarded through the Society on Water Environment to support young researchers engaged in research aimed at preserving aquatic environments
- Completed new research and development facilities at the Hirai site
- The TO Reactor, used to manufacture surfactant, was registered as an item of Future Engineering Heritage
- Commenced trial broadcasts of the Company's first nationwide television commercial with subtitles
- Launched super-concentrated liquid laundry detergent TOP NANOX
- Footage of Lion founder Tomijiro Kobayashi's funeral procession designated an important cultural property
- Designated "Meisters" as specialists to create and provide information useful for daily living
- Announced the Vision2020 new management vision
- Lion product Lactoferrin received the 16th Momofuku Ando Award for Excellence and the 2012 JSBBA Award for Achievement in Technological Research
- Launched LOOK Bath Antimold Fogger, which uses silver ion fog to sterilize and prevent mold growth
- Began the V-1 Plan medium-management plan, aimed at achieving the goals of Vision2020
- Opened ORALYSIS, an oral care shop by the Yaesu South exit of Tokyo Station
- Established Gran Tokyo Oral Health Care Station, a preventive dentistry clinic
- Began the "KireiKirei City—Sakaide" Project, a social contribution initiative in cooperation with Sakaide City in Kagawa, Japan
- Released the renewed CLINICA brand, "from a Preventive Dentistry Perspective"
- Released Ban Sweat-Blocking Roll-On, an innovative product to reduce underarm sweat and help prevent sweat marks on clothing
- Launched new BUFFERIN PREMIUM, featuring a premium formula for fast, effective relief from painful headaches
- Launched Lidea, a new website for lifestyle information
- Launched new CHARMY Magica, a nano-cleansing dishwashing detergent
- Established the Vision2020 Part-2 medium-term management plan (the V-2 Plan)
- Established the first toothbrush recycling program in Asia in order to decrease the environmental impact of used toothbrushes
- Re-launched Nice rim essence Lactoferrin labeled as a functional food product that "helps reduce visceral fat and bring down high BMI"
- Reorganized chemical-related subsidiaries and divisions to launch the new Lion Specialty Chemicals
- Launched Between Zeitaku Care, a toothbrush generously packed with bundles of multi-level tapered bristles to reach every nook and cranny
- Consolidated equity-method company Southern Lion Sdn. Bhd., based in Malaysia, making it a consolidated subsidiary
- Launched TOP SUPER NANOX, a super-concentrated liquid laundry detergent that effectively cleans grime off each and every fiber
- Established LION tomoni Co., Ltd. to promote the hiring of and expand opportunities for people with disabilities
- Launched hadakara Body Soap, a body soap featuring Japan’s first moisture-adsorbing formula, which ensures moisturizer is not washed away
- Samples of TOP with Enzyme Power, released in 1979, registered as Essential Historical Materials for Science and Technology (items of Future Engineering Heritage) by the National Museum of Nature and Science
- Launched the Salivary Multi Test, a test system that can measure multiple saliva indicators in just five minutes
- Shiseido, Unicharm and Lion formed an alliance aimed at reinforcing in-store maintenance and other functions at retailers
- Launched new and improved CLINICA Kid's Toothbrush, a lineup of toothbrushes with flexible, durable handles in two versions (for children 0–2 years and 3–5 years old) to support healthy brushing according to age, from getting used to brushing to establishing independent brushing habits
- Created the new brand NONIO to care bad breath based on a scientific approach
Launched NONIO Toothpaste and NONIO Mouthwash
- Launched Felizona Rich Whitening Essence, a skin tone-evening essence formulated with plant-derived whitening active ingredient ellagic acid
(quasi-drug; direct-to-consumer sales only)
- Launched Smile Medical A, formulated with deep-penetrating vitamin A to relieve eye fatigue, due to dryness and other factors, right at the source
- Launched REED Petit Pressure Cooking Bags, which make it easy to prepare fresh, homemade food in the microwave
- Launched LOOK Plus Cleanliness Reset Total Drain Cleaner for Kitchens, a detergent that removes slime from kitchen drains just by pouring in the powder and water, with no need to scrub
- Launched Dent Health Denture Care Ultrasonic Denture Cleaning Kit and Ultrasonic Denture Cleaning Sterilizing Solution, which clean and sterilize dentures at home in just five minutes
- Launched TOP Hareta, a super-concentrated liquid laundry detergent designed to emulate the way clothing feels and smells after drying outdoors on a sunny day
- Launched KireiKirei Medicated Hand Gel, featuring a nano-ion disinfecting ingredient to quickly and easily eliminate germs in the tiny grooves and gaps around fingernails and fingers
- Launched LOOK Plus Bath Cleansing, a new type of bath detergent that cleans the tub with no scrubbing: Just mist the entire bathtub, wait 60 seconds, and rinse off
- Created the new Rakutasu Care brand aimed at alleviating the burden and unease of both those providing and receiving nursing care to help them take a positive outlook every day
- Sold the Varsan insecticide brand to LEC, Inc.