This is Nitta Archives, which records footsteps for over 100 years since our establishment.
In the Archives, you will find that Nitta has developed unexpected products.
Power driving leather belt
Nitta's founder manufactured leather for shoe-making in those days. Exploiting his leather manufacturing techniques, he developed and showed leather belts at an exhibition where visitors were struck with admiration at his tanning techniques. One of these visitors, Osaka Boseki, commissioned power driving leather belts. Until then, there were only imported belts in the domestic market; so, quality made-in-Japan products were keenly wanted. It was Nitta that first succeeded in producing quality power driving leather belts to respond to such a desire in Japan. With this as a turning point, Nitta achieved name recognition in the spinning industry. Nitta's products are still used in spinning machinery.
The Nagoya branch at the time when Nitta launched production of Japan's first tannin solid extracts.
Through the leather tanning process, Nitta's founder discovered that the bark of daimyo oak and root skins of Nobu trees contained good-quality tannin. In those days, surging demand for leather products caused the depletion of daimyo oak and Nobu trees on the main island of Japan. Under these circumstances, raw materials to extract tannin were rarely offered in the market. The founder noticed that there were many daimyo oak forests in Tokachi of Hokkaido. Then, he founded the Tokachi Seiju Factory to produce tannin solid extracts for the first time in Japan. While the company cut down the forest, it started afforestation for the future. In the beginning, only the bark of these daimyo oaks was used as a raw material to obtain the tannin.
Trunks of the daimyo oak trees were utilized mostly for sleepers of railways after the bark was removed from them. Nitta then used and commercialized them as plywood. Thanks to Nitta's developed glue bond with excellent heat and water resistance, "beniya" (plywood) was finally patented in 1923.
Applications of the plywood expanded to construction of Japanese and Western-style buildings, fixtures, airplanes, locomotives, steam vessels, instruments, toys and automotives.
Osaka Kashiwara Gelatin Plant
In those days, the quantity of consumed glue and gelatin increased in Japan. Domestic products, however, were not satisfactory in terms of production volume and quality. Nitta knew that raw materials for the glue were a by-product of the belt manufacturing process. Then, the company studied Western glue production methods, and finally commercialized the glue. When the company launched production of industrial gelatin, Japanese industries escaped dependence on imported glue and general industrial gelatin. The company launched research into edible and medical gelatin, while the company also launched development of photographic gelatin, which was technically difficult to produce.
The plant built to manufacture glue and gelatin became the number one plant in the East in quality and production volume of glue and gelatin.
Livestock ranching in Hokkaido
Nitta seriously launched livestock ranching in 1923, utilizing a vast area of land. This stock farm produced light racing horses, while the farm launched breeding of dairy cattle. The company built a butter production plant and launched fully into production of butter and condensed milk as well. This ranching division was transferred to the Hokkaido Dairy Product Sales Association (the predecessor of Yukijirushi (Snow Brand)) and Kyokuto Rennyu of the Meiji Seika Group.
After World War II, the company founded Nitta Farm to produce thoroughbred racing horses. In 1967, a famous Japan Derby horse, Asedenko, was born there.
Primary school and commercial college opened
At that time, there were many children who could not go to school because they had to work to supplement the family income. Nitta's founder opened Yurin Jinjo Primary School for these children in Osaka in 1911. The founder shouldered any and all operation costs, and also outfitted necessities to pupils including school supplies, clothes and shoes. After 12 years, he donated all property of the primary school to Osaka City. In addition, Nitta's founder opened Matsuyama Commercial College (the current Matsuyama University) in his hometown, Matsuyama City in 1923. He sponsored foundation and operation of the college. These activities were based on the founder's wish to contribute to society not only through technology and business but also through education.