• 1938

    Maruzen Shokai is established and begins production of licorice extract.

    Kihachi Higurashi, the founder of Maruzen Shokai, decided to start a licorice extract business after receiving an invitation from a medicine merchant in Osaka, and established Maruzen Shokai in 1938 on the site of a soy sauce brewery in Arii, Mukojima-Nishi-mura, Mukojima, Michi-gun, Hiroshima Prefecture (now Mukojima-cho, Onomichi City). The members who gathered together were five, including Higure. The only pot used to boil licorice was a sanshu kettle with a capacity of 3 koku (540 liters). The extract produced was sold directly to soy sauce brewers east of Shizuoka and around the Kanto region.

    Maruzen Shokai is established
    Licorice Raw Materials
    Licorice Raw Materials
  • 1942

    Korean Licorice Industry established under wartime control.

    With the outbreak of World War II, imported licorice was "controlled" by a decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Kihachi Higure, who was in a crisis, participated in the establishment of Chosun Licorice Industry Co. Ltd. and produced solid licorice extract for the domestic market, where licorice imports had ceased.

    Stock Certificate
  • 1949

    Maruzen Kasei Co., Ltd. is established (70-year history begins).

    Maruzen Shokai was renamed Maruzen Chemical Industry Co. As the postwar economic recovery led to a market environment in which "if it can be made, it can be sold," Maruzen Shokai was dissolved in 1949 and Maruzen Kasei Co. Ltd. was established in 1949, and the company departed from being a small factory and restarted caramel production as a corporate entity.

    Kihachi Higurashi, First Chairman
    Kihachi Higurashi, First Chairman
  • 1950

    Began production of licorice extract for the first time in the postwar period.

    As licorice became unavailable due to the war, caramel production was the mainstay of the business. The decision to stop the production of caramel, which was doing well at the time, and produce licorice extract, which had an uncertain future, was strongly opposed by the board members, but as a result, Nippure's reading turned out to be correct. While new caramel makers entered the market and engaged in excessive competition, Maruzen Kasei was able to pursue its own path. Sales representatives went around selling branded products named "Takara Ama" and "Toku Ama".

    Branded products
    Branded products " Takara Ama" and "Toku Ama"
  • 1952

    Moved to Mukojima Higashimura (current Headquarters Factory)

    In 1952, the head office was relocated to Aza-Okihikonokami, Mukaishima-Higashi-mura, Michi-gun, on the opposite shore of the former Onomichi city (current location of the head office, Mukohigashi-machi, Onomichi City). The site was 575 tsubo (approximately 1,900 square meters) and the price was 900,000 yen.

    Unloading from the coast
    Unloading of licorice root from the coast (late 1950s)
  • 1958

    Succeeded in producing high-purity glycyrrhizic acid

    Kihachi Higurashi, after meeting a certain doctor of pharmacy, wondered if glycyrrhizin, which is extracted from licorice, could be marketed to pharmaceutical manufacturers. However, the product at that time was too low in purity to be used in pharmaceuticals. After several years of research on refining methods, he succeeded in producing high-purity glycyrrhizic acid and glycyrrhetinic acid in 1958.

  • 1959

    Started manufacturing and sales of pharmaceutical products at Maruzen Kasei Co.

    In March 1959, we received approval from the Minister of Health and Welfare to manufacture and sell products for pharmaceutical manufacturers using high-purity glycyrrhizic acid and glycyrrhetinic acid, as well as RICOLEX and RICOLEX P.

    Started delivery of Licorice Extract No.2

    Regarding the use of licorice extract as a tobacco flavor, one of the applications of licorice extract, Maruzen Kasei cooperated with the development at the Central Research Institute of Japan Senpaku, and began delivering specially processed licorice extract No. 2 in December of the same year.

  • 1963

    Establishment of the former Maruzen Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd.
    Onomichi Factory No. 1 completed (later Onomichi West Factory).

    In order to further promote its business for the pharmaceutical industry, the company completed its Onomichi Factory No. 1 in Yoshiwa-Nishimoto-cho, Onomichi City, on February 28, 1963, as a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. At the same time, to separate and strengthen the pharmaceutical division of Maruzen Kasei, the company established Maruzen Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. (hereafter referred to as the former Maruzen Pharmaceuticals), which was headquartered in the Tokyo office of Maruzen Kasei. The company has established a system to foster personnel with specialized knowledge of pharmaceuticals in-house to engage in research. In terms of the direction of research and development, the company narrowed its focus to the medical community to avoid competition with original manufacturers, and in terms of applications, placed emphasis on injections and ophthalmic solutions.

    The former Maruzen Pharmaceutical Onomichi Factory No. 1
    The former Maruzen Pharmaceutical Onomichi Factory No. 1 at the time of its completion (1963)
  • 1965

    Received approval from the Minister of Health and Welfare for the production of Dipotassium glycyrrhizate.

    The former Maruzen Pharmaceutical received a series of licenses and approvals for the production of dipotassium glycyrrhizate in 1965 and glycyrrhizic acid, monoammonium glycyrrhizate, and glycyrrhetinic acid in the following year. At the same time, Maruzen Kasei marketed different grades of pharmaceutical raw materials and played a major role in market creation.

    Packaging form of refined licorice for pharmaceutical use manufactured by Maruzen Kasei
    Packaging form of refined licorice for pharmaceutical use manufactured by Maruzen Kasei
  • 1977

    Maruzen Kasei starts stevia extraction.

    In 1975, after the oil crisis, stevia, a highly sweetened sweetener, appeared on the market. Maruzen Kasei was already paying attention to stevia as a new sweetener at that time. The difficulty in procuring raw materials was an issue, but it turned out to be possible to grow stevioside in southern Kyushu, and Setsuro Higure made up his mind to work on stevioside. He then began extracting stevia in 1977.

  • 1979

    Former Maruzen Seiyaku obtains cosmetics manufacturing license.

    In 1984, we obtained a business license for the cosmetics manufacturing industry. Based on this license, we have developed sales activities to cosmetics manufacturers.

  • 1980年

    Former Maruzen Seiyaku obtains quasi-drug manufacturing license.

    In order to expand its business beyond licorice, the company obtained a quasi-drug manufacturing license and entered the field of crude drug extracts.

  • 1982

    Started oyster extraction as a pilot project for technology transfer from the Hiroshima Prefectural Food Industry Research Institute.

    In 1982, Maruzen Kasei received an offer from the Hiroshima Prefectural Food Industry Research Institute to jointly develop a seasoning that made use of oysters, and began research. The conclusion was reached that it would be difficult to use oyster extract as a seasoning due to its price, but Maruzen Kasei decided to use oyster extract not as a seasoning but as a health food ingredient.

    Oyster extraction
  • 1983

    Produced the first crude drug extract, an extract of senburi, produced by the former Maruzen Pharmaceutical Co.

    Responding to a request from a cosmetics manufacturer, we delivered our first supply of Senburi extract. Since then, the company has accumulated application know-how and experience in obtaining regulatory approvals, opening up new markets outside of the pharmaceutical industry.

    Senburi extract
  • 1985

    Completion of Miyoshi Plant, blessed with water resources and a favorable location

    The multi-purpose extraction equipment at the head office factory was running out of capacity due to the production of oyster extract, and a new facility was needed as a "dedicated plant for de-sweetening" to produce kiraya saponin, sankanon, etc. The factory was built in the Miyoshi Industrial Park. Another reason was that the area was blessed with water resources.

    Completion of Miyoshi Plant
  • 1989

    LUPLAN established in Finlay, Australia, for the cultivation of licorice.

    In preparation for a crisis in raw material procurement, the company planned to secure a stable supply of glycyrrhizin by cultivating superior strains of licorice through biotechnology. For this purpose, a seed and seedling center was established within the Matsunaga Factory in 1984. In 1989, the company acquired land in Australia for the cultivation of licorice and established a local subsidiary, ROOPRUN Co.

    LUPLAN established in Australia
  • 1991

    Merger agreement is signed to unify the two Maruzen companies.

    Merger agreement is signed to unify
  • 1994

    Promote CP business

    In 1990, the company began to deal in Consumer Products, and gradually expanded its business with the breakthrough of Onomichi Kenzenkan series of Yakuzen Soups, which was launched in 1994.

    Yakuzen Soups
  • 2000

    Establishment of the Research Center

    In 2000, the basic research and planning group was established, and in 2001, the food and cosmetic development and quality assurance groups were combined to form the "Research Center The following year, the Foods and Cosmetics Development and Quality Assurance Groups were merged to form the "Research Center," which integrates Maruzen Pharmaceutical's research and development activities.

    Research Center
  • 2001

    Establishment of Special Sales Department Entry into health food OEM business

    Since the company was making proposals directly to distributors, it gradually began to receive requests from some distributors to finish and deliver the product as a terminal product. With the health food boom in the market, the Special Sales Department was newly established. Unlike bulk raw materials, we started out with no internal rules or regulations in place. Although there were many difficulties, the experience of looking at raw materials from the perspective of the customers who use them is alive and well in the proposals Maruzen Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. makes today.

  • 2005

    Shin Onomichi Factory completed.

    As demand for crude drug extracts grew in the 2000s, the Onomichi West Factory began to show signs of aging and lack of capacity in its facilities, so a new Shin Onomichi Factory was built in the Onomichi Distribution Park. Aiming to produce a wide variety of products in small quantities, the concept of a "convenience factory" was adopted.

    Shin Onomichi Factory
    Shin Onomichi Factory
  • 2007

    Establishment of Maruzen Pharmaceuticals (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

    In order to revitalize both sales and procurement in China, the company considered establishing a new base. In April 2007, after a six-month preparation period, Maruzen Trading (Shanghai) Co.

    Office building now occupied by Maruzen Trading (front center)
    Office building now occupied by Maruzen Trading (front center)

    Establishment of Kui Farm

    In the "Green Strategy Project" launched in 2001, the disposal of plant extract extraction residues was positioned as an important theme. The company decided that if the extraction residue and sludge could be fermented, composted, and used to grow useful plants on its own farm, it would be possible to create a recycling cycle in the phytoextracting business.

    Establishment of Kui Farm
    Establishment of Kui Farm
  • 2016

    Maruzen Cosmetics Ingredients Seminar held for the first time

    In line with our mission to provide world-class cosmetic ingredients, we held a seminar on cosmetic ingredients for the first time in order to directly communicate information to our customers and strengthen our relationship with them. Although there were concerns about attracting an audience due to the unprecedented nature of the project, the seminar was a great success, with many customers participating in response to the theme of "Considering Cosmetics of the Future.

    Black Ginger's Food with Functional Claims Notification Accepted

    In 2018, Maruzen became the first company to submit a notification to the Consumer Affairs Agency for the claim of "maintenance of walking function in middle-aged and older adults. In 2018 and 2019, the functional labeling of "facilitates fat consumption" and "reduces abdominal fat," respectively, was approved, and further expansion of black ginger is expected in the future.