Birth of our Mechanical Pencil Factory
Hidehei Kageyama, who is the older brother of Toshihiko Kageyama, worked for a trading
company after graduating college. During an assignment at a garment factory in Kawagoe, he
became acquainted with Takahiko Suzuki, who devised the Cushion Mechanism Mechanical
Pencil. With both of them possessing love of craftsmanship from their youthful years, and having
experience with operation of machinery, they embarked together to start a new business. One
weakness of a mechanical pencil was the susceptibility of the lead to breakage, when writing
pressure is applied. Suzuki focused his attention on that issue and discovered a solution. The idea
was a design that lets the lead retract when excessive force is applied. Working together, they
tested various prototypes and through trial and error, successfully created a working sample
Cushion Mechanism Mechanical Pencil, in 1974.With their patent application, they continued to
improve the product in preparation for production. Kotobuki & Co., Ltd., then decided to support
the venture by moving its main operation center from Kyoto to Kawagoe, and transform into a
mechanical pencil production as its main business, with Hidehei and Suzuki joining the company.
1975 In just two days of displaying our first Cushion Mechanism model at a writing instrument
show, we receive orders for 300,000 pcs. With that order as our start, in just six months we
expanded to a production capability for 200,000 pcs/month, and then to 600,000 pcs/month
quickly thereafter. Demand for Kotobuki’s new technology became widespread.
||Kotobuki & Co., Ltd. was established in Kyoto by our founder Toshihiko Kageyama as a sales company for sundries and decorative items.
||Ishida Factory opened as our center for Mechanical Pencil Production and Research, located in Ishida, Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture.
||Expansion of Ishida Factory to increase production.
||Toyodahon Plant opened to move parts production in-house.
||New Head Office & Plant opened in our Kujirai Operations Center, located at Kujirai, Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture.