Company History

With a constant focus on customers, Lion’s R&D spans a history of more than 120 years. This page highlights the R&D of Lion’s early years and the technologies that constantly guide Lion’s future.

  • 1891

    Founder Tomijiro Kobayashi established T. Kobayashi & Co. on the Yanagihara riverside in Kanda, Tokyo, to trade in soap and raw materials for matches

  • 1896

    Launched Lion Toothpowder

  • 1907

    Established Kobayashi Laboratory to test raw materials and conduct research into new products.
    Established alongside Tokyo Analytical Laboratory that also accepted commissions from the public.

  • 1914

    Launched the Banzai Toothbrush, developed based on guidance from the Tokyo Dental School (now Tokyo Dental College)

  • 1920

    Launched Plant-derived Lion Laundry Soap, the first plant-derived household laundry soap made in Japan (Lion Soap Co., Ltd.)

  • 1921

    Established the first dental clinic in Japan to specialize in pediatric dentistry, later renamed the Lion Dental Clinic for Children (Kobayashi Co., Ltd.)

  • 1933

    Established the Laundry Information Service Center (Lion Soap Co., Ltd.)

  • 1937

    Published Standard Household Laundry Methods, a booklet that was adopted as a home economics text at many girls' high schools (Lion Soap Co., Ltd.)

  • 1948

    Launched Lion F Cream, Japan's first toothpaste with fluoride (Kobayashi Co., Ltd.)

  • 1956

    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(Lion Fat and Oil Co., Ltd.)

  • 1961

    Launched White Lion toothpaste incorporating the new active ingredient calcium phosphate, which is highly effective for whitening teeth (Lion Dentifrice Co., Ltd.)

  • 1966

    Launched Mama Lemon, a smooth-on-the-skin, lotion-type detergent for washing tableware and vegetables (Lion Fat and Oil Co., Ltd.)

  • 1967

    Launched the laundry detergent Dash, containing alpha olefin sulfonate (AOS), a new, highly biodegradable surfactant (Lion Fat and Oil Co., Ltd.)

  • 1970

    Launched White & White Lion toothpaste in laminated tubes (Lion Dentifrice Co., Ltd.)

  • 1973

    Launched Seseragi, Japan's first phosphate-free detergent (Lion Fat and Oil Co., Ltd.)

  • 1979

    Launched TOP, a laundry detergent with enzyme power
    (Formulated with enzyme capsules) (Lion Fat and Oil Co., Ltd.)

  • 1980

    Launched a phosphate-free version of Enzyme Power TOP

  • 1981

    Launched CLINICA Lion, a toothpaste with enzymes that break down cavity-causing dental plaque

  • 1991

    Launched Spark laundry detergent, formulated with MES, a surfactant made from environmentally friendly plant(palm oil)-based ingredients

  • 1992

    Launched Emeron Shokubutsu-Monogatari (Plant Story), a beauty soap made with 100% plant ingredients

  • 1993

    Launched Dentor Systema Lion, a brand of liquid toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouthwash for preventing periodontal disease

  • 1997

    Launched KireiKirei Medicated Hand Soap formulated with an antibacterial agent

  • 2007

    Launched direct-to-consumer of tablet supplement Nice rim essence Lactoferrin

    Received the 16th Grand Prize for the Global Environment Award

  • 2009

    The TO Reactor, used to manufacture surfactant, was registered as Essential Historical Materials for Science and Technology (items of Future Engineering Heritage) by the National Museum of Nature and Science

  • 2010

    Launched super-concentrated liquid laundry detergent TOP NANOX

  • 2012

    Launched LOOK Bath Antimold Fogger, which uses silver ion fog to sterilize and prevent mold growth

  • 2016

    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