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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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Address :  AIM buiding 6th floor, 3-8-1 Asano, Kokura-kitaku, Kitakyushu-city, Fukuoka-prefecture 



Related sites to the Study tour

Study tour to Kitakyushu     Study tour to Nagasaki      History of Industrial modernization 

History of Japanese Christianity      Environmental Future city Kitakyushu



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