Your Soul In Every Bead


The Origin of bead-making

With the end of the Second World War, founder Yamanaka Ichiji returned from the war front to his hometown of Hiroshima, which had been devastated by the atomic bomb. There, the young Yamanaka caught sight of the vivid colors of women’s kimonos as they walked through the monotones of the charred remains of the city.
The dark and painful war ended with everyone emotionally wounded, and it was a time of hardship and poverty, but the world was about to change into an era of freedom to enjoy bright colors.
He was convinced that a society in which everyone could enjoy fashion and freely adorn the world was itself a conflict-free, peaceful world society.
The desire to bring beautiful colors to society and the world was the starting point of our founder’s glass bead-making.


The Challenge of
Glass Bead Manufacturing

TOHO Glass Beads Industries was set up in Misasa Town of Hiroshima City’s Nishi Ward (location of the present head office), and started with the production of canes (thin glass tubes) used for making glass beads.
In 1957 the TOHO Glass Beads Company was established as a glass bead manufacturer.


The Challenge of
World-class Quality Production

The Kabe Plant (presently Hiroshima Plant) began operations in Obayashi, Kabe Town, Asa County.
This plant was designed to integrate all the production processes - from production of glass canes to cutting and reheating (glazing) - in one facility.


Introducing the Joy of
Handmade Goods to Japan

Introducing the culture of bead-craft at sales offices opened in Taito Ward, Tokyo and Fukushima Ward, Osaka.
Spearheaded by Yamanaka Kaoru, the second-generation owner (currently Chairman), we developed the TOHO Pack (currently Pack Beads) and beading kits and, in turning glass beads into more familiar and accessible materials for creativity, we have continued to deliver pleasure and beauty to users in Japan.


The Desire to
Increasingly Convey
the Charm of Glass and
Handmade Goods

The glass theme park, ‘Glass Village’ (Garasunosato) was opened on a renovated section of the Kabe Plant. The creation of tourism demand that accompanied this contributed to the development of the local economy. Moreover, many have come to know of our craftsmanship and we have continued to introduce the charm of glass and the joy of handmade products to a wide range of customers.


Visits by Members of
the Imperial Family

In 1985 His Imperial Highness Prince Hitachi visits the Glass Village on the occasion of the completion of the Memorial Hall (presently TOHO Memorial Hall). He was accompanied on this visit to our company by the Princess.
In 1990, His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino and the Princess visited with us.


For the Dissemination of
Bead Culture

The TOHO BEADS STYLE Tokyo Gallery t was opened next to the Tokyo Sales Office. With the concept of “Beadwork as Contemporary Art”, we are disseminating the world of beadwork far and wide.


The Wish for
World Solidarityand Peace

For the G7 Summit held in our hometown of Hiroshima, our Orizuru Brooch, created with Aiko Beads, was adopted as the official distinction badge for the Partners’ Program. As we brighten the world with glass beads, we go on wishing for the realization of a peaceful world.