Yamauchi fireworks was founded by Sojiro Yamauchi in 1868. Sojiro was the first grantor to receive a license to make fireworks in Yamanashi. After that, Yuichi took over. Yuichi was so good with his hands that he was an excellent pyrotechnician and an incomparable firework lover that he was making votive fireworks when he was 15 years old. Between Yuichi and Oroku, Hiroshi, the current chairman of the company, was born. Hiroshi trained at the Oguchi pyrotechnics in Nagano Prefecture. Although he was the youngest and the newcomer at the time of his training, he was often talked to and cared for by the field staff, and he reminisces about those days. When the two returned from their training, Yamauchi fireworks was energized and began to take on the challenge of making new fireworks and gaining new clients. Hiroyuki Yamauchi was appointed president in 2011. Since becoming president, Hiroyuki has demonstrated three missions. They are “creation,” “research,” and “challenge. In both cases, the requirements for future fireworks companies were clarified in words. The company’s management philosophy is “A dream in the night sky, a moment of romance” and the employees and I worked together to make the move. Toshiyuki said, “Fireworks are boring if you don’t have fun. The best thing to do is to create fireworks that have a dream story and make the customers happy,” he says. There is a clear division of labor between siblings, so they understand and respect each other’s strengths and work hard together to improve their skills. They are really good friends and have never had a fight with each other. The younger brother, Toshiyuki, says, “My brother is excellent and has excellent management skills,” while the older brother, Hiroyuki, says, “My brother is a creator with good hands and technical skills. I don’t think there are many brothers who are so close to each other. They trust each other so much that they can be entrusted with their work.
The first representative, Keikichi, was a pyrotechnician who sold fireworks to shrines in the Kiyosato, Komoro, and Suwa regions where there were no pyrotechnicians. He was also the leader of the fireworks crowds in the area and was granted a manufacturing license in 1901, much to the dismay of the pyrotechnicians.
In 1984, Mr. Yoshihiko became the head of the fireworks shop, and at the same time, he named the company “Saiki Hanabi”.
Saiki’s tradition was handed down to the fourth generation of representative Katsuji Saiki in 2010. In that year, the company upheld its management principles of “contributing to the community” and “bringing joy to all who watch fireworks”.
He has been active in the area as an employee of the Youth Chamber of Commerce and has developed an eye for the outside world and an eye for business. He was a skiing alpine athlete in his elementary, middle and high school years. In high school, he became a member of the Yamanashi national team and participated in the National Athletic Meet. He decided to become a firework artist when he was in the upper grades of elementary school. He remembered the sight of the crowd applauding with joy at the fireworks at Kawaguchi Lake, which were set off by the Saiki fireworks. He helped with the family business during the busy summer months of middle school, high school, and college. After graduating from university, he joined Saiki Hanabi without any hesitation. As the heir to Saiki’s tradition, he is taught the mindset of a fourth-generation company representative.
The Saiki pyrotechnics have a tradition of training excellent craftsmen. In Katsuji’s time, it could be said that it was Shigeo Iida, a young leader. After graduating from high school, he joined the Saiki Fireworks Company to become a pyrotechnician. He lives and works at the Saiki family for a year and a half. Yoshihiko drilled Saiki’s skills into him. Iida is curious and hates to be outdone. Under Tanaka’s leadership, he focused on developing new stars and improving the smoke-dragon that Yoshihiko had taught him. Iida said, “I’m really indebted to Chairman Yoshihiko and Saiki’s auntie. I want to show my gratitude with fireworks,” he said. For Katsuji, the presence of a right-hand man with high aspirations is important. Iida said, “I would like to give top priority to safety and protect Saiki’s technique. And I’m going to create a new Saiki firework,” he said enthusiastically. He is a dependable new leader.
In 1954, the predecessor of Marugo, the Saiki Kyosaku Smoke Shop, was established by Saiki Kyosaku. The main focus of the fireworks shop was the manufacture and sale of toy fireworks, and the company focused on sparklers. When the company was founded, it dealt with the main industries of the local Ichikawa Daimon, such as fireworks manufacturing in the summer and shoji paper manufacturing in the winter.
Masakazu, the second generation of the company, expanded its business and incorporated it in 1980 to strengthen the company and changed its name to Marugo. Around this time, many toy fireworks were imported from China, and many domestic toy fireworks manufacturers went out of business one after another. Margaux sold toy fireworks from China as set pieces to home improvement stores and drugstores at low prices. In place of toy fireworks, which were no longer profitable, the company began to focus its efforts on fireworks.
In 1991, when Masakazu became a member of the town council, Kazuo Saiki became the representative director of the company. Tomonori, the current chairman of Marugo, takes charge of the scene and opens the door to a new world of special fireworks. He established the special effects department and was in charge of special effects in Tenko Hikita’s magic show. He will also be in charge of setting off fireworks for the Orix baseball team, which is based in Kobe. He also made presentations of special effect fireworks to theme parks all over the country, and focused his efforts on the development of low temperature fireworks and the production of new fireworks components. Through this kind of special effect fireworks making, we have accumulated the basics of unique fireworks and flash fireworks without realizing it.
Since Tomonori took over as president in 2001, “We have promoted reforms under the banner of the challenge of the Marugo brand. Marugo’s code of conduct, the Marugo Pledge, has fully penetrated the company’s employees, and in 2019 Satoshi Saiki will take over as the company’s representative, along with senior managing director Keisuke and plant manager Miyakawa, who are taking Marugo to a new stage.
The final item in the Marugo Pledge, “Be brand conscious,” states, “We will always be aware of what our customers expect from us, and we will always remain humble and positive so that we can earn their trust and respect as a member of Marugo. You could say that this statement sums it all up.
Jiro Horiuchi left his name as the first generation of the fireworks family business. The current chairman, Haruo Horiuchi, trained at Taiyodo Tamura Smoke Shop and Shinshu Smoke Industry in the same prefecture in 1959, and learned “safe fireworks making” and “good craftsmanship”. After returning to Ina, he was able to make fireworks that he was satisfied with, and won the first place in the Ise competition. In 2003, Masaru Nasuno took over as the fourth generation of the company. In the new fireworks collection held in Omagari, they sent spirited Hanabi Sakka such as Shibata and Kigasawa to show their individual abilities by winning the gold prize. He has also put young people in charge of famous fireworks displays across the country, nurturing young creators who will take on the company’s back. As a manager, Nasuno is in charge of the manufacturing plan for the factory, staffing the fireworks display, and calling the shots for Tsuneo.
The Ina Kiko Horiuchi smoke shop produces about 1,800 large rounds a year. Of those, about 40 large 24-inch rounds have been produced. About half of these will be displayed at the Kuwana Suigo Fireworks in Mie, Japan.
The management philosophy of the fireworks shop is “making safe and satisfying fireworks”. The manufacturing plan is carried out from the customer’s point of view. He says he would like to set off the fireworks that only the Horiuchi Fireworks Shop can produce without resting on the growth in business.
Shigeo Shinohara, the current owner of Shinohara fireworks, became interested in fireworks after meeting Tamon Aoki, who is nicknamed the god of fireworks, and seeing the fireworks he made. When Shigeo saw Aoki’s beautifully colored fireworks and the color scheme of the core, he thought, “The world of fireworks looks interesting too.
Shigeo learned how to make fireworks from Kazuo, a mild-mannered firework enthusiast, and Tamon Aoki, who he says is a firework master. He said that Aoki gave him tips when he got stuck many times.
Shinohara Shigeo now has two young disciples. It’s Naoya Fukuda and Junnosuke Iura. After studying in the U.S., Fukuda was fascinated by the allure of fireworks and decided to join Shinohara. After experiencing firework making in Niigata, Iura studied fireworks scientifically at the Ashikaga Institute of Technology. Later, he begged Shinohara to make him his apprentice because he wanted to master fireworks. Shigeo said, “Fireworks are unique only when they are 100% handmade. I want to raise young people who have a goal to make,” he said, coaching the two of them sternly. They had the Shinohara-ism in them by thoroughly hammering in fuselage making and star making, and both of them said, “Fireworks making, it’s great! He said in unison. Shinohara does not buy anything he can make himself, much less wholesale fireworks or imported balls. Shigeo said, “Efficiency is also important, but it’s normal for us to make things and say ‘what’s the point’. He is proud to have been making fireworks for more than 40 years, and he wants to continue making fireworks as a “lifelong firework maker. The more fireworks you make, the more you hit the wall. We will overcome this barrier and pursue an even more ideal form. This is Shigeo’s ideal of making fireworks, he says.
Shigeo says that making fireworks is “a hobby”. Let’s have some fun! Let’s play! I’m working on making fireworks,” he says to himself. He says he feels the greatest happiness when the work he put his heart and soul into turns out the way he wants it to. You could say that Shigeo is a dreamer and a romantic.
Mr. Akio Aoki, the current representative of the fireworks shop, is also the president of the Japan Fireworks Art Association and a leading figure in the world of fireworks. He also received the Prime Minister’s Award in Omagari and Tsuchiura. Aoki’s fireworks are well known for their work called “Yubae no Yasashi”. Aoki was so impressed by the palm trees he saw on his trip abroad that he wanted to make fireworks out of them. He also creates various shapes of fireworks mainly for local fireworks festivals. It’s a really interesting film, with mushrooms and characters from the local TV station.
Another noteworthy presence in the Aoki fireworks is Hideo Hirayama. When he was a company employee in Tokyo, he saw a fireworks display in Yamagata Prefecture on a trip and was so shocked that he began to visit other fireworks displays around the country. In addition to being obsessed with the appeal of the Music Star Mine performance, the combination of music and fireworks made me see the potential for a new business. Hirayama felt strongly that he wanted to do this production the way he wanted, but he was a complete amateur when it came to fireworks, so he took a job at Aoki’s fireworks shop to learn from the basics. Hirayama, a native of Fukuoka, has no connection to Nagano, but when he learned about Aoki Hanabi, a traditional fireworks shop that has a reputation both in Japan and abroad, he decided to bet on his dream without hesitation.
For Aoki, Hirayama’s joining the company must have been an opportunity to open up a new field. For fireworks fans, the musical star mine produced by Hirayama is also the center of attention. From the local fireworks display in Nagano, Japan, to Sapporo, Yamagata, Ibaraki, Shizuoka, and even Kumamoto, Kyushu, he travels all over Japan. It’s not easy to go to see fireworks all over the country because it’s a huge investment of time and money, but still, the fireworks at Hirayama show everything you see a form of fireworks you’ve never seen before.We, the fireworks enthusiasts, think, “I’m glad I came all the way to this fireworks display, so I’ll be able to see it here again next year. He is one of the people who can fuse Japanese fireworks technology with the world’s fireworks technology and open up a new world using not only fireworks but also special effects such as music, laser, flame and confetti. He is now a leading figure in the fireworks industry in Singapore and Saudi Arabia as a general fireworks director. You can’t take your eyes off the “Hirayama World”, the fireworks world that Hirayama creates.
The first Fujiwara Akira ran a souvenir shop in Zenkoji Monzenmachi, and at the same time, he was contracted to make fireworks and fireworks in the Ammori area, and was also active as a fireman. Later, in order to focus on the fireworks business, he founded Shinshu fireworks. Nobuo, the third generation and current owner of the company, encountered a manufacturing accident after joining the company. In 1989, Nobuo took over as president, with the motto “Recruit and nurture young people who love fireworks”. The management policy of Shinshu Pyrotechnics is “to make fireworks that please and move people”. Nobuo says, “You can’t make a good firework if you don’t see something good,” and encourages his employees to watch pictures, movies, musicals, paintings, and competitive fireworks. It’s because ideas often come from them. The company was now a collection of young employees, the ideal organization that Nobuo had envisioned. Shinshu Pyrotechnics has three main fireworks (Nagano Ebisu, Nagaragawa, and PL fireworks), which are shot up at 60 places a year as a pyrotechnist. Masaru Tanaka, who is currently in charge of computer ignition and program configuration, is the driving force behind the Shinshu pyrotechnics on a new stage. He was strong on digital devices and brought about a new fireworks change. With these young pyrotechnicians, we can imagine more interesting and exciting fireworks in the future.
Katakai Fireworks Industry was founded in 1980 by Yoshiharu Honda in the Katakai area famous for its fireworks. Yoshiharu, originally a local alderman, was told by the local Kurosaki smoke shop in Katagai that there was no male successor and that the plant had to be relocated within five years because of inadequate equipment due to stricter gunpowder handling regulations. After consulting with Yoshiharu, he decided to take over the overall production of fireworks, saying, “Katakai Hanabi, which has been around since Edo, cannot be discontinued.
Yoshiharu calls back her son, Masanori, who had been working for a company in Osaka, and entrusts him with the start-up of a new factory. Masanori learns how to make fireworks from the craftsmen at the Kurosaki Smoke Shop and earns the national certification required for a fireworks factory, transforming himself from a can-do businessman to a fireworks company manager.
President Masanori served as president of the Japan Smoke Association for eight years, beginning in 2003. During this period, the company strengthened its “safety management”. That’s why we’ve been doing the right thing at our own company and taking safety measures. He also served as the President of the Ojiya Chamber of Commerce and Industry for four years from 2012. Here, he says, he has reaffirmed that “the prosperity of a company lies in continuing to innovate. That’s why the company is committed to “constant reform” and “thorough safety.
President Masanori and his son, Kazunori, remain steadfast in their commitment to the company’s philosophy of “constant innovation. The spirit of Katakai Smoke Industry, which has been making great progress in less than 40 years since its establishment, is encapsulated in this philosophy.
The Prime Minister’s Award, the highest honor of the fireworks competition, has been given only to the Omagari and Tsuchiura competitions. An amazing company that has won the award more than 15 times in both of these competitions is Nomura Hanabi Kogyo. That’s why it’s called the strongest fireworks company in Japan. In 2005, he exhibited the first-ever six concentric circles of fireworks in Omagari, and from then on, the flowers of the Nomura era began to bloom. The following year, he appeared on NHK’s “Professional: The Way of Work” and in 2008, he appeared in a commercial for Kirin Beer. Many fireworks enthusiasts may have vividly documented the scene where the fireworks were set off in unison on the Oarai beach and Yoichi Nomura drank a pint of fresh beer. Yoichi Nomura has decided to resign from all of his positions as a permanent member of the Mito Chamber of Commerce and Industry and president of the Ibaraki Prefecture Explosives Safety Association until the spring of 2015 to focus on fireworks. He says that he will break away from the restraints and face the end of his life. I want to make another flower bloom without being arrogant and with humility,” he says enthusiastically. Nomura Fireworks is a fireworks company that was founded in 1875. The first representative, Mura Shige, was an eye doctor, businessman, swordsman, and pyrotechnician, and had many faces. At the time, his lifestyle was so interesting that it was even serialized in the Ibaraki Shimbun. Shinichi the second president also played the shakuhachi and sang. He was also a style person who painted Japanese paintings. It was said that “Nomura’s fireworks have a certain flavor”. As a soldier in World War II, Yasuhisa achieved a miraculous return to Manchuria and New Guinea, and in gratitude for this, he worked hard to create fireworks. It can be said that Yasuhisa was the one who realized the foundation of Nomura Fireworks. Yoichi, the fourth generation, was appointed president in 1989. Yoichi says that the basics of all fireworks were taught to him by his father, Yasuhisa. Yoichi said, “Don’t try to imitate people. Stick to your point! He is proud of his motto, “Fireworks are the Nomura way”. Since the first generation, the Nomura family has followed the Nomura style, not going anywhere for training. He is now the most awarded pyrotechnician in the fireworks industry with the Prime Minister’s Award, the highest title in Japan. Yoichi Nomura says, “No fireworks are perfect. And, he said, “It’s always a cycle of improvement. When we are unconvinced about fireworks, we thoroughly pursue the cause and improve it. They are highly idealistic, yet highly problem-conscious. In addition, I am afraid that they are not satisfied. The Nomura-ism is enshrined in the company’s employees. There are two young pyrotechnicians at the helm of today’s Nomura Hanabi Kogyo: the factory manager, Yuichi Nihori, and the former factory manager, Shinobu Yamaguchi, both of whom Yoichi fully trusts as pyrotechnicians, ideas and directors. Yoichi said, “Individuality and sensitivity are important in making fireworks. The two have been working together since their twenties to create tasteful works of art. They’re now in their 40s at their most working and able to express their adult world,” he squinted. The two of them formed a team to decide on the work. Yoichi said, “In this day and age, what a pyrotechnician needs is total artistic ability. You can’t just make fireworks. Even if it’s just planning and ideas, you can’t do it. We are developing such all-round players who can produce computers, make plans, and make fireworks. That’s why we don’t have a division of labor system, but rather let one person create everything according to his or her image. A work of art can be done better if it is done alone. This is a very typical Nomura way of thinking. According to Nomura, “Management must create an environment in which employees can work hard on their own initiative. The company’s philosophy is to create an environment where employees can work comfortably and come up with plans because the work gives the audience dreams and excitement. In the course of creating a work of art, employees would ask for capital investment in this way, or to make their own small flammable tubes, or to establish a new workshop to improve the manufacturing process. It’s a good thing if it’s cost effective and the result is that Nomura Fireworks is appreciated. Naturally, we will work together with our employees to improve our management, giving priority to cost-effectiveness while making improvements. Yoichi’s management philosophy of developing employees’ autonomy and individuality is “a company that only exists because of its employees.