The prewar Mitsui & Co.* was an importer of rayon yarn from Courtaulds PLC of the U.K. for sale in Japan, and Mitsui established Toyo Rayon Co., Ltd. based on national policy promoting Japanese industrial manufacturing. Rayon, which uses pulp as a raw material, is mankind's first chemical fiber. It has a luster similar to silk yarn, a natural fiber, and thus was called "artificial silk." At the inaugural meeting on January 12, 1926, Yunosuke Yasukawa—at the time a managing director of Mitsui & Co.—acted as representative of the incorporators and stated his hopes that the company would generate "major benefits for the national economy." Yasukawa became the company's first chairman, and on April 16, 1926 he obtained permission to set up a plant from the governor of Shiga Prefecture. Thus, Toray observes April 16 as Founding Day.
*Note that the pre-war Mitsui & Co. was a completely different corporate entity with no legal connection to the present-day Mitsui & Co.
Shiga Plant [approximately 1937]
Yunosuke Yasukawa, first chairman
First company emblem