1946 > 1960

From the end of the war to the period of rapid growth

Starting immediately after the end of the war, the company contributed to the reconstruction, for example with the development of a cultivator, a pioneering product in agricultural mechanization.  The company strengthened its business base ahead of the period of rapid economic growth, with the establishment of centrifugal casting techniques for iron pipes and also diversification into various types of pipe and housing related products.  The agricultural machinery department in particular strengthened its domestic sales structure with the establishment of service bases and sales companies in response to growing mechanization needs.  The long awaited rider-driven tractor was also commercialized, establishing the “Kubota agricultural machinery” brand.

  • 1947
  • 1952
  • 1953
  • 1954
  • 1955
  • 1957
  • 1959
  • 1960

1947

 The development of the cultivator

After the war, the securing of foodstuffs was an urgent issue for national government. Agrarian reforms led to the birth of many new owner-farmers and the demand for engines increased dramatically for many new uses, for example for irrigation, threshing and rice hulling. The Sakai plant restarted production of engines in September 1945 in response.
This also lead to the restarting of development work for cultivators, which had started in around 1935 but been halted during the war. In 1947, the company established the “Asahi Industrial Co., Ltd.” (currently: Kubota Precision Machinery Co., Ltd.), and in May of that year the first prototype machine was completed.
The machine was shown at the First National Agricultural Mechanization Exhibition and went on sale as the K1 Type Kubota Rotary Cultivator in September, 1947. However, this was still long before the use of cultivators became widespread, and the company had to wait until around 1960 for the business to get established.

Engine assembly plant inside the Sakai plant

Engine assembly plant inside the Sakai plant

A sawing machine produced at the Mukogawa plant

A sawing machine produced at the Mukogawa plant

Kubota’s first cultivator (Model K1 rotary cultivator)

Kubota’s first cultivator (Model K1 rotary cultivator)

A catalog for Kubota Power Cultivators

A catalog for Kubota Power Cultivators

1952

Started the production of pumps and centrifugal cast iron pipes

 The company seriously entered the pump business and completed its first pump at the end of 1952, a turbine pump for the boiler water supply at Kansai Electric Power Company, Inc.’s Shikama Power Plant.
However, the existing manufacturers had a firm grip on the pump market, for both public and private demand, and Kubota’s pump business did not really get on track until the 1960s, when the concentration of the population in the cities lead to an increased demand for large pumps.
In addition, it was also in 1952 that the company overcame various difficulties and succeeded in the first Japanese production of centrifugal cast-iron pipes. The first products were delivered to the Kyushu Electric Power Company, Ltd., for use as ash flow pipes for a thermal electric power plant.

750 horsepower boiler water supply turbine pump for Kansai Electric Power Company, Inc.’s Shikama Power Plant

750 horsepower boiler water supply turbine pump
for Kansai Electric Power Company, Inc.’s Shikama Power Plant

The first catalog for volute pumps

The first catalog for volute pumps

A demonstration of the 1,050 mm double suction volute pump for Kansai Electric Power Company, Inc.

A demonstration of the 1,050 mm double suction volute pump for
Kansai Electric Power Company, Inc.

A catalog for metal mold centrifugal cast-iron pipes

A catalog for metal mold centrifugal cast-iron pipes

Shipping yard for cast iron pipe at Mukogawa Plant

Shipping yard for cast iron pipe at Mukogawa Plant

1953

Changed Japanese name to “Kubota Tekko K.K.”
and entered the construction machinery business

Sales increased rapidly from 3.7 billion yen in the 1950 business year to 13.8 billion yen in the 1955 business year, due to the special procurements arising from the Korean War, which had started in 1950. At the same time, repeated capital increases and corporate bond issues meant that the company’s capital stock rose from 280 million yen in May 1949 to 2.52 billion yen in May 1955.
In June 1953, the Japanese name of the company was changed from the “K.K. Kubota Tekko-jo” to “Kubota Tekko K.K.” In that same year, 1953, the “Kubota Construction Machinery Co., Ltd.” was established and the company entered the construction machinery industry. In 1955, policy was shifted towards own-company development.
From that time, there were numerous large-scale construction projects undertaken in the country, and the company gained the top share in the Japanese mobile crane market.

The copper casting plant (front) and Okajima plant (top) that were at Daiunbashidoori, Taisho-ku, Osaka City

The copper casting plant (front) and Okajima plant (top)
that were at Daiunbashidoori, Taisho-ku, Osaka City

The KM40 type mobile crane being tested at the Mukogawa machinery plant

The KM40 type mobile crane being tested at the Mukogawa machinery plant

The testing of a needle valve for the Chubu Electric Power Co., Ltd.’s Asahi power plant

The testing of a needle valve for the Chubu Electric Power Co., Ltd.’s Asahi power plant

1954

Started the production of vinyl pipes

Although iron pipes had been the company’s central product, the increase in demand for copper and PVC pipes meant that the relative share of iron pipes had started to fall. The company therefore decided to become an all-round pipe manufacturer, and began research and prototype production for PVC pipes from July 1953.
Extrusion equipment made in the United Kingdom was installed at the Sakai plant and trial and error was repeated until the first shipment was made in February the following year (1954), 4 tons of 13-40 mm diameter pipes.2. The original plan for the plant was for 3 extruders and a monthly production of 20 tons, but this was increased to 5 extruders in October 1954.
In 1955, the plant got approval as a JIS specified plant for general industrial use, ranking alongside the three other companies that had come first.

The newly constructed vinyl pipe plant

The newly constructed vinyl pipe plant

Trial production of vinyl pipes on the first pipe machinet

Trial production of vinyl pipes on the first pipe machine

The first shipment on trucks lined up in front of the vinyl pipe plant’s office

The first shipment on trucks lined up in front of the vinyl pipe plant’s office

Vinyl pipes used as the handrail on stairs at the Tsuruhashi Station on Osaka’s Joto line (currently the Osaka Loop Line)

Vinyl pipes used as the handrail on stairs at the Tsuruhashi Station on
Osaka’s Joto line (currently the Osaka Loop Line)

An early machine for making vinyl pipe joints

An early machine for making vinyl pipe joints

1955

The first farm machinery sales and service base
in Japan was opened in Hokkaido

As Japan entered the late 1950s, the agriculture business entered a period of full-blown expansion, and the company’s agricultural machinery department also grew rapidly, surpassing the iron pipe department in sales volumes in 1958. The company viewed the expansion of a sales and service network as a key policy, and in 1955 it opened the “Asahikawa Service Center.”
With this as a start, the service network was extended to Kumamoto, Tokyo Akabane, Kanazawa, Takamatsu, Okayama and Niigata. From early on, the company worked hard at the spread of agricultural machinery, with technical training for users being offered from 1949, and the opening of facilities to accept overseas trainees in 1957.

The first Service Center, in Asahikawa, Hokkaido

The first Service Center, in Asahikawa, Hokkaido

A technical training center opened in the Sakai plant

A technical training center opened in the Sakai plant

Training being given to students from overseas

Training being given to students from overseas

The International Hall opened at the Sakai plant

The International Hall opened at the Sakai plant

Service vehicles lined up in front of the headquarters building

Service vehicles lined up in front of the headquarters building

1957 昭和32年

Entered the housing materials business

The fireproofing of housing and building material shortages caused by excessive deforestation were much discussed issues at the time, and in response to these, the company decided on a technical tie-up with the Johns Manville company from the United States. The Kubota Building Materials Industrial Co., Ltd. was founded in November 1957 with the aim of manufacturing and selling the nonflammable building material, Colorbest.
Production began from November 1960 in a newly established plant in the outskirts of Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture.At first Colorbest Single (for walls) and Colorbest Colonial (for roofs) were sold in a ratio of about 9:1. However, sales of Colonial began to rise when the prefab housing industry prospered as Japan entered the late 1960s, and the design and operability of Colonial began to be appreciated.

The production of Colorbest Colonial

The production of Colorbest Colonial

Housing with Colonial roofs

Housing with Colonial roofs

The first overseas agricultural equipment production base was opened in Brazil

The first overseas expansion for the company after the war was in Brazil, where many people are descendants of Japanese settlers, and where there had been many imports of Japanese engines since before the war, including from Kubota.
As the Brazilian government had announced import restrictions in the late 1950s in order to develop domestic industries, Kubota established the “Marukyu Agricultural Machinery Limited Company” (currently: Brazil Kubota Limited Company) in 1957. The plant started assembling the KF type cultivators from April 1960.
This was followed by the “Shin Taiwan Agricultural Machinery Co., Ltd.,” a joint corporation established in Taiwan in December 1960. The rotary type K3B cultivators had been imported into Taiwan since 1951, and were highly evaluated, but imports were later prohibited for the same reason as in Brazil, so the production of cultivators and engines in the country began from the end of 1960.

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1959 昭和34年

“Spiral steel pipe” prototypes and production start

Kubota had started the manufacture of rolled-sheet welded steel pipes in 1954, and in 1957 it purchased spiral steel pipe production techniques from Armco Inc. in the United States. The Ohama plant was newly built on reclaimed land in Chikko, Sakai City, and trial production started from October 1959. Full production started in February 1960 with waterworks pipes for Osaka City.
Nearly 20 percent of Armco’s production was of foundation piles, so Kubota also extended the sales routes. There was a lot of work going on in Japan at the time to reclaim the land around the coast, and an increasing number of sites were using spiral steel pipes instead of the conventional concrete piles as foundation piles on the soft land.

Spiral steel pipe production

Spiral steel pipe production

Steel pipe piles delivered to the Tokyo Electric Power Co., Ltd.’s Kawasaki Thermal Power Station

Steel pipe piles delivered to the Tokyo Electric Power Co., Ltd.’s Kawasaki Thermal Power Station

Spiral steel pipes being used as foundation piles in Maya Wharf, Kobe City

Spiral steel pipes being used as foundation piles in Maya Wharf, Kobe City

Steel pipe sheet pile being used in wharf construction for the Chubu Electric Power Co., Ltd.’s Chita thermal power plant

Steel pipe sheet pile being used in wharf construction for
the Chubu Electric Power Co., Ltd.’s Chita thermal power plant

1960 昭和35年

70 years since foundation

The ceremony to mark 70 years of the company was held on October 1, 1960, in the new headquarters building (currently: Kubota 2nd Building), which had been planned as part of the commemoration project.
A project to double the income of the population was decided by the Japanese cabinet at the end of this year and the Japanese economy was starting out in a period of astounding economic growth.
Kubota’s sales also jumped from 45.6 billion yen in the 1960 business year to 81.2 billion yen in the 1965 business year, and the company’s capital stock rose from 8.8 billion yen in April 1960 to 27.9 billion yen in April 1965.
It was also in this year that the company completed the first Japanese built rider-driven tractor for dry-field farming, the type T15, the year that the Funabashi plant opened on reclaimed land in the bay of Funabashi City, Chiba Prefecture and the year that a fully owned subsidiary, the Kubota Waterworks Co., Ltd. (currently: Kubota Construction Co., Ltd.) completed waterworks construction in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, the first such order overseas for a Japanese company.
It was a year when the company took a big step towards the future.

The headquarters building, which was completed as a project to commemorate 70 years since foundation

The headquarters building, which was completed as a project
to commemorate 70 years since foundation

The first domestically made rider-driven tractor for dry-field farming, the type T15

The first domestically made rider-driven tractor for dry-field farming, the type T15

Type L15R paddy field tractors being produced on a conveyer belt line at the Sakai plant15

Type L15R paddy field tractors being produced on
a conveyer belt line at the Sakai plant15

Construction work to bury waterworks pipes in Phnom Penh City

Construction work to bury waterworks pipes in Phnom Penh City

Women in Phnom Penh drawing water from a public hydrant

Women in Phnom Penh drawing water from a public hydrant

1927 > 1945

1946 > 1960

1961 > 1972