Kansai Paint’s History

For more than a century since its founding in 1918, the Kansai Paint Group has delivered coatings and technologies grounded in the coatings business.
Katsujiro Iwai, our founder, was a manager with an ESG viewpoint of contributing to society from a long-term perspective based on manufacturing and trust. Today’s Kansai Paint Group is the proud heir to his spirit.
Driven by this spirit, we will take on the challenges of creating new value and delivering solutions to global challenges.


Formative years1918 - 1948

Things of value attract people without words

Katsujiro Iwai, our founder, reflected on the proverb, "Things of value attract people without words."
Everything in Kansai Paint's History of more than a century flows from this spirit of good faith, a tradition of making decisions from broader perspectives, and building relationships with customers based on trust rather than focusing on immediate gains.

Postwar growth1948 - 1986

From standard coating products to maximum production and high-level technologies

Kansai Paint overcame various post-World War II challenges and made rapid progress based on its own unique vitality and sense of teamwork, taking the active approach of focusing on what the Company could do rather than giving in to fate.
Over the period of roughly 60 years through 1986, it grew from a paint manufacturer sited on the banks of the Kanzaki River to an enterprise with more than 8.7 billion yen in capital, 2,800 employees, and 130.0 billion yen in annual sales.

Global expansion986 - 2010

Becoming a coatings maker trusted around the world

Kansai Paint's full-fledged globalization began with the advancement of Japanese automobile manufacturers into overseas markets.
While enhancing its production capacity overseas, it sought to improve its international competitive and research and development strengths and build further on its technological support structure.

Accelerating globalization2011 - 2017

Becoming a global enterprise based on the three pillars of automotive, decorative, and industrial coatings

In line with rapid growth in demand for coatings in overseas markets centered on rapidly growing emerging markets, Kansai Paint accelerated its globalization initiatives further while enhancing its earnings and management infrastructure in Japan.
Kansai Paint was seeking to become a global enterprise based on the three pillars of automotive, decorative, and industrial coatings.

Turning point toward a cycle of sustainable growth2018 - today -

Becoming a great company through sustainable growth

By making every possible effort in structural reforms, digitalization, and business portfolio improvements to build a new cycle of sustainable growth, Kansai Paint will demonstrate the kind of company it seeks to be and how it will contribute to the planet and to the world.

Kansai Paint’s Today

To date, Kansai Paint's growth has been driven largely by the technologies developed and accumulated in the field of coatings. The next page delineates Kansai Paint's current profile based on current conditions in the coatings market and its unique strengths.