Technological and Products Changes

Trends of the WorldModernizationPostwar ReconstructionHigh Economic GrowthOil shockRecessionBubble burst, and information society arrivedIncreased use of cell phones, smart phones, and system networks
Technology and Products of IBIDEN
Years 1912〜 1945〜 1960〜 1970〜 1980〜 1990〜 2000〜

〜Change in the world and 100 years in IBIDEN〜

1912- Establishment of IBIDEN and the Start of Production

The Company's first president, Yujiro Tachikawa

The Company's first president, Yujiro Tachikawa

Inaugural meeting (November 25, 1912)

Inaugural meeting (November 25, 1912)

Establishment as the cornerstone of Ogaki, city of industry

Ogaki City used to be one of the region's main agricultural areas and also flourished as a distribution center for various merchandise transported by water along the Ibigawa River. However, the city's position grew uncertain when Japan began to transform itself into a modern nation. The money economy progressed while the rice economy weakened, with a change in the main distribution method from ships to trains.

Aiming to develop Ogaki into an industrial center, important local figures concerned about the city's decline sought to attract companies through hydroelectric power generation and electricity supply using the Ibigawa River. As a result, Ibigawa Electric Power Co., Ltd. was established in 1912, with Yujiro Tachikawa, a businessman from Ogaki City, as the first president. This is how IBIDEN began.

A water wheel with a vertical axis produced for the first time in Japan

A water wheel with a vertical axis produced for the first time in Japan

The Higashi-Yokoyama Power Plant under construction

The Higashi-Yokoyama Power Plant under construction

Power generation business: A difficult start

An electric power company requires time and much money to produce and supply electric power. Unfortunately, the Company launched its business in the midst of a recession. Moreover, due to the outbreak of World War I, it became impossible for the Company to import the water wheels for power generation that had been ordered from Germany. Employees of the time overcame all difficulties, making every effort to raise funds, adopting a water wheel with a vertical axis produced for the first time in Japan, and carrying out difficult construction in an era that lacked heavy equipment or automobiles. In 1916, the Company's first hydraulic power plant, the Nishi-Yokoyama Power Plant, was completed in the upstream areas along the Ibigawa River. Subsequently, construction was completed on the Higashi-Yokoyama Power Plant (1921), the Hirose Power Plant (1925), the Kawakami Power Plant (1935), and the Nishidaira Power Plant (1940), expanding the Company's power generation capacity.

*This movie will sound when you play it.

Electric Furnace at the era of Taisho

Electric Furnace at the era of Taisho

Work scenery at the time

Work scenery at the time

Start of production: The electrochemical business

Annual hydroelectric power generation fluctuated greatly depending on low- and high-water seasons. In particular, with regard to water channels whose water amounts could not be adjusted, there was a limit on electric power available for continual use. For this reason, to attain a reasonable use of electric power, hydroelectric power companies in different regions entered the electrochemical business.

The Company also initiated carbide production by using lime production areas nearby. Furthermore, President Tachikawa advanced eagerly into the ferroalloy and carbon businesses. Particular success was achieved in the practical application of carbon in searchlights. In 1918, the Company's name was changed to Ibigawa Electrochemical Co., Ltd.

Breakdown of electricity power supply(fiscal 1935)

Breakdown of electricity power supply(fiscal 1935)

The Nishi-Yokoyama Power Plant was contributed.

The Nishi-Yokoyama Power Plant was contributed.

Continuous hardships followed by management reconstruction under the umbrella of major companies

Electric power supplied by the Company enabled many cotton spinning companies and chemical companies to launch their businesses in Ogaki City. The Company's efforts to establish itself as the cornerstone of local development bore fruit.

Then Japan was hit by the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, a financial crisis and the Great Depression. Because of the repeated economic crises, the Company was placed under the umbrella of Toho Electric Power Co. and later Dainippon Spinners Co., Ltd., which led to management reconstruction. Furthermore, when electric power fell under state control following the outbreak of the second Sino-Japanese War, the Company in 1942 contributed two of its five power plants to a company that was then managing electric power in Japan. Halting its power supply business, the Company followed the path of an electrochemical company.
In 1940, its name was changed to Ibigawa Electric Industry Co., Ltd.