Company History

Centered on its strength in consumer research, Lion’s research combines wide-ranging basic research, product development research and new research initiatives. Through these research efforts, Lion seeks to provide new value with the aim of offering healthy, comfortable living to all consumers.

  • 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.

  • 1910

    Imported autoclaves (industrial high-pressure fat and oil decomposers) from Germany that Lion used in manufacturing for about 40 years.
    One of these autoclaves was designated a Chemical Heritage Artifact by the Chemical Society of Japan in 2015.

  • 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.)

  • 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

    Developed Lipon F, Japan's first kitchen detergent for washing fruits, vegetables and tableware, backed by data on its effectiveness in removing Ascaris eggs. Lipon F was the first product endorsed by the Japan Food Hygiene Association and created an entirely new market

  • 1961

    Developed White Lion toothpaste incorporating the new active ingredient calcium phosphate, which is highly effective for whitening teeth

  • 1966

    Developed Mama Lemon, a mild, non-irritating lotion-type detergent for washing tableware and vegetables (Lion Fat and Oil Co., Ltd.)

  • 1967

    Developed the laundry detergent Dash, containing alpha olefin sulfonate (AOS), a new, highly biodegradable surfactant (Lion Fat and Oil Co., Ltd.)
    This double cylinder reaction apparatus for sulfonation (TO Reactor) was used to commercially produce AOS for the first time in the world and was registered in 2009 as Essential Historical Materials for Science and Technology (“items of Future Engineering Heritage”) by the National Museum of Nature and Science
    Source: National Museum of Nature and Science

  • 1970

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

  • 1973

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

  • 1979

    Developed TOP, a laundry detergent with enzyme power (formulated with enzyme capsules) (Lion Fat and Oil Co., Ltd.)
    Samples of TOP were registered in 2016 as Essential Historical Materials for Science and Technology (“items of Future Engineering Heritage”) by the National Museum of Nature and Science in recognition of the development of technologies for safely and stably incorporating detergency-enhancing enzymes and the product’s success as the first enzymatic detergent to be fully accepted on the market
    Source: National Museum of Nature and Science

    Determined that skin irritation during dish washing is caused by both the stripping away of oils and the denaturing of proteins in the skin. Developed Mama Royal, a dishwashing detergent that reduces protein denaturing while maintaining high detergency

  • 1980

    Developed a phosphate-free version of Enzyme Power TOP

  • 1981

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

  • 1991

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

  • 1992

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

  • 1993

    Developed a toothbrush with super-tapered bristles that can reach into the gingival sulcus, where the teeth meet the gums, as well as a liquid toothpaste and mouthwash for preventing gum disease. These were launched as the Dentor Systema Lion brand.

  • 1997

    Developed KireiKirei Medicated Hand Soap formulated with an antibacterial agent to meet growing needs to prevent infectious disease and food poisoning. Lion continues to use the product to promote family hygiene habits today.

  • 2010
  • 2012

    Developed LOOK Bath Antimold Fogger, which uses silver ion fog to sterilize and prevent mold growth
    The product offered the new concept of using a fogger to prevent the growth of mold to combat mold on bathroom ceilings. The concept was backed up by experimental evidence of the effectiveness of mold-killing silver ions.

  • 2015

    Developed Nice rim essence Lactoferrin, a product that "helps reduce visceral fat and bring down high BMI"
    Research based on product develop received the 16th Momofuku Ando Award for Excellence and the 2012 JSBBA Award for Achievement in Technological Research

  • 2016

    Developed hadakara Body Soap, featuring Japan’s first moisture-adsorbing formula

    Developed the Salivary Multi Test saliva test system.
    This system can provide objective, quantitative measurements of multiple saliva indicators of dental and gum health and oral cleanliness in just five minutes

  • 2017

    Developed CLINICA Kid's Toothbrush, a lineup of high-performance toothbrushes tailored to the stages of children’s growth to support tooth brushing habit formation

  • 2018
  • 2019

    Developed the CLINICA ADVANTAGE NEXT STAGE Toothbrush, a toothbrush that helps users avoid brushing too hard, which can lead to gum recession, by making a sound when excessive force is applied

  • 2022

    LOOK Plus Bath Cleansing received the 2021 Engineering Award and Editor’s Award from the Japan Oil Chemists’ Society for its technologies and market contribution

    Developed the TANO-LT nursing care game console equipped with the Kenkomin (health,mouth,sleep) Exercise program for simultaneously improving oral fitness, sleep and motor functions

  • 2023

    Developed Acron Smart Care, a laundry detergent (for delicates) with fabric-softening ingredients that uses new technology to eliminate the rinse stage, which accounts for approximately 70% of the washing process
    Gets clothes clean in less time and with less environmental impact

    Developed NANOX one highly concentrated complete gel, combining powerful detergency and deodorizing that surpass previous Lion products while protecting clothing’s true colors

    Developed CLINICA PRO Toothbrush Rubber Head, featuring a head made with a rubbery material and supple bristles that hug the teeth to scrub away plaque for shockingly clean finish