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History of Brother

Yasui Sewing Machine Co., a company that sold and repaired sewing machines, was established in 1908 by Kanekichi Yasui, the father of the founders of Brother Industries, Ltd.

Masayoshi Yasui, the eldest of ten children, began working and helping his father at the age of nine, thereby acquiring sewing machine repair skills at a very young age. At the age of 17, Masayoshi began working as an apprentice in Osaka, which at that time was the heart of Japan’s sewing machine industry. Having witnessed the sewing machine market being dominated by imported products, Masayoshi felt strongly the need to produce sewing machines domestically. He was determined to “develop this import-based sewing machine industry into an export-based industry.”

At that time it was considered impossible to produce sewing machines in Japan, due to a lack of production facilities and advanced processing technologies. However, Masayoshi’s resolution never wavered; to obtain funds for sewing machine production, he developed and sold hydraulic presses for producing straw hats. He also embarked on research activities focused on his ambition for sewing machine production in Japan. His initial success motivated him to pursue other development initiatives, including an ambitious effort to produce the country’s first domestic sewing machine. In 1928 he succeeded in the development of the “Sho-san-shiki” chain-stitch sewing machine, which was more durable than imported machines.

Jitsuichi Yasui, Masayoshi’s younger brother and co-founder of Brother, succeeded in the development of shuttle hooks, which are main components of the sewing machine. Very few believed they would succeed, however, and it was only through determination and a seemingly endless ability to overcome adversity that the Yasui brothers succeeded in 1932 with the introduction of the first domestic sewing machine ever made entirely in Japan.

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