History of Industrial modernization
Japanese industry at the end of 19th century was 200years behind. After Mathew C Perry
came to Japan in 1853, Japan’s industrial Revolution was started.
Since Japan’s modern Steel Industry operation commenced in 1901 in Kitakyushu,
Japan became the world’s leading industrialized country in only 100 years.
There is the KAIZEN strategy in the background to Japan becoming an industrialized country at a
rapid speed. The literary meaning of KAIZEN is improvement, refer to activities that continuously
improve all the functions applies to manufacturing process, purchasing and logistics, involve all the
employees form top management to site workers. KAIZEN is applied for many companies in Japan
and is greatly contributed to Japan’s Industry.
・1641 Dejima, a small artificial island was opened as Dutch trading port in Nagasaki
Nagasaki is the only place opened to oversea countries during the National isolation period
from 1639 to 1854.
・1853 Mathew C Perry came to Uraga;
the Commodore of the US navy, who played a significant role in Japanese history, succeeded in
opening Japan to foreign countries Japanese industry was 200years behind European countries
at that time
・1853 Japanese’s industrial revolution started in Saga, Kagoshima and any other places
・1867 The sovereignty of Tokugawa Shogunate was returned to imperial court
・1868 Meiji Restoration
the most important event in Japanese history, which heralded a new era of modernization in Japan.
This revolution restored the imperial rule to Japan after more than 250years of Tokugawa Shogunate,
bringing about a major shift in political and cultural structure. National Slogan was Fukoku-kyohei,
means “Enrich the country and strengthen the military” to promote industries and strengthen Japan
against Western power.
・1897 The Meiji Government made the decision to build the Imperial Steel Work in the small village
in Yahata, next to the Dokai Bay and close to the coal-rich Chikuho area
・1899 First Head Office of the Imperial Steel Works registered on the World Heritage was built
・1900 The Former Forge Shop and the Repair Shop of the Imperial Steel Works registered on
the World Heritage were built
・1901 Operation of the Imperial Steel Work, in Yahata Kitakyushu was commenced
In the beginning of the Blast Furnace was not successful, and then Japanese engineer Kageyoshi Noro
modified the design and successful operation followed in 1904
・1915 Yaskawa Electric establish in Kitakyushu
・1917 TOTO establish in Kitakyushu
・1945 The Atomic bombs were dropped in Hiroshima on August 6 and in Nagasaki on August 9
・1960’s Experience the industrial pollution problems
・1962 Higashida No.1 Blast Furnace 10th was blown in
・1963 Kitakyushu-city was born, five municipal cities were equally merged; that was a very rare case
in the world as each the cities had such different personality
・1972 Higashida No.1 Blast Furnace 10th was blown off late 1980s’ the structural flaw in Japanese
economy came to the surface and culming in collapse of bubble economy
・1990 Kitakyushu-city received the “Global 500 Award” given by the UN Environment Program (UNEP)
to individuals and organizations that combat environmental issues, and it was first local government to
win the award in Japan.
・2001 Kitakyushu Eco-Town Center opened first in Japan
・2008 Kitakyushu-city was designated as the Environmental Model City
・2011 Kitakyushu-city was designated as the Environmental Future City
・2015 Site of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution is registered on the list of World Cultural Heritage
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