History over the century

1904:Russo-Japanese War 1914:World War I
1920:Taisyo Financial Crisis

  • 1904

    Sadajiro Shima founded the Shima Company in Higashi-ku (now Chuo-ku), Osaka, as an importer-exporter and an wholesaler. Inspired by the opinion of Dr. Hiraga, who made substantial contribution to the modernization of Japan as a chemist and an educationist, Sadajiro decided to serve the nation by international trading which was largely dominated by foreign trading companies then.
  • 1905

    Head Office was moved to Koraibashi, Osaka. It is said the very first business was an agent deal of starchy addhisive.  Subsequently, we expanded product lines to pharrmaceutical chemicals and metallic materials.  We also ventured to start private brand business on quality papers imported from Europe.
  • 1916

    Established Japan Glass Industries Co., Ltd.  At that time, glass bottles were being made manually until we introduced a bottle production machine from Libby-Owens Corp., U.S.A. This epoch-making machine contributed significantly to the automation of the production process.  We further expanded product lines from industrial products to consumer products such as Remington hunting guns and even automobiles from Overland Co., U.S.A.
  • 1917

    Established New York Office.
  • 1918

    Established Shima Automobile Co., Ltd. Imported around 100 cars when total automobile number in Japan was only about 7000. The business was later transferred to Nissin Automobile.
  • 1919

    Reorganized as a stock company. Founded Nichibei Sheet Glass Co., Ltd., the predecessor of Nippon Sheet Glass Co., Ltd. Under technical license from Libby-Owens Corporation, we introduced automated consecutive production line to sheet glass manufacturing industry in japan, where batch production by cylinder blowing was still in common.  The new sheet glass was used for the windows of the former Marunouchi Building.
    Established Shima Trading Co.(London)

1923:Great Kanto Earthquake 1929:Great Depression

  • 1921

    Renamed as Shima Trading Co., Ltd.
  • 1922

    Started import of Petrolatum from Sonneborn & Sons, Inc. U.S.A. It marked the beginning of refined petrochemical product lines which are still widely used in industries today.
  • 1928

    Participated in the establishment of Japan Gasoline Co., Ltd. (now JGC Corporation).
  • 1935

    Sadajiro Shima passed away. Mrs. Kinu Shima, his spouse, acceded to the director of the company and provided critical spiritual support to keep the business going.
  • 1938

    Established Tianjin Office in China
  • 1939

    Established offices in Shanghai, Qingdao, and Guangsong, China.                                                    Set up branch office in Mumbai, India.

1941:Pacific War 1945:World War II ended
1958:Tokyo Tower completed

  • 1941

    All internatinal commercial transactions were stopped because of the Pacific war.
  • 1945

    The company lost all oversea offices and commercial rights at the end of the war. With only less than 20 employees attended at the ruined office, Shima Trading started to rebuild its business.
  • 1950

    Private international trading, prohibited after the war, resumed.
  • 1951

    Resumed the import of Petrolatum from Sonneborn. Import of liquid paraffin was also restarted. These materials became core products in phermaceuticals and cosmetics industries.
  • 1953

    Started handling epoxy resins as a distributor of Shell Kagaku, K.K. Expanding product lines to curing agents and additives, Shima proceeded to synthetic resin industry at the outset of so-called plastic age. Started private brand formulated resins in cooperation with Nippon Gosei Kakou, Co., Ltd.
  • 1955

    Acquired exclusive distributorship of petroleum wax from P.S.I. Co., Ltd. U.S.A. (later aquired by Sonneborn). It was used in the beginning as an adhesive agent for moisture-proof packaging and impregnated insulation for paper capacitors in electronic devices. It was also used as a base material for chewing gum base at that time.
  • 1956

    Established Nagoya office.
  • 1957

    Started import of Amalie motors oil from U.S.A. that still have a loyal following from professional and amature motor fans as specialty natural-base motor oils.
  • 1959

    Started import of natural oil sulfonate from Sonneborn. Introduced the product as an anti-rust and emulsifying agent in fiber lubrication and as a dispersing agent for metal-working lubricants. It is still one of the essential additives in these fields today.
    Established representative office in Illinois, U.S.A. to explore new business opportunity in North America.

1964:Tokyo Olympic Launch of Bullet Train 1971:Nixon Shock
1973:The First Oil Crisis

  • 1963

    Established Shima American Corporation in Illinois.  It was the first Japanese company to incorporate in the state of Illinois.  This was a milestone for Shima in its effort to rebuild itself as an international trading firm.  The main business was to distribute Japanese made transmission products such as ball bearings, chains, and V belts, etc. in the US. In accordance with the new pharmaceutical regulation, Shima helped to establish Japan Pharmaceutical Traders' Association. As one of the founding memebers, Shima has been contributing as a director to the association until today.
  • 1964

    Established Shima Kosan Co., Ltd. to manage real estate properties.
  • 1966

    Moved headquarters to the present Shima Building at Yodoyabashi, Osaka.
  • 1974

    Shima suffered substantial loss due to the bankruptcy of a major partner.  It was through the effort by all the employees and and trust from loyal customers that the company was able to overcome the crisis.  This experience taught the company the importance of  prudent risk management, which later proved its value when the Japan's buble economy burst in 1992.
  • 1977

    Started distribution of polyurethane based adhesives for film lamination produced by Takeda Chemical Industry (later Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. acquired the product line). Shima became the leading supplier in the application in food packaging industry, which is still one of the importationant market of the company.
  • 1979

    Established Taipei representative office.
  • 1980

    Started export of PVA materials produced by Kanebo, Ltd.(now Aion Co., Ltd.) for automobile surface cleaning, copper cylinder polishing, and silicone treatment. The application has been developed in medical apparatus and aluminum substrate polishing, as well.

1990:German Reunification 1992:Japan's Bubble Economy burst
1995:Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake

  • 1985

    Completed reconstruction of Ginza Shima Building.
  • 1990

    Started development of ceramic coating materials with paint manufactures which was adopted for exterior housing board coating. It was the lead of today's cold-curing ceramic paint.

    In cooperation with Futaba Industrials Co., Ltd., Shima started exportation of automotive parts & equipments to North America. We subsequently expanded the business to European and Asian markets.
  • 1991

    Completed reconstruction of Shima Building, Osaka Head Office.
  • 1992

    Because of prudent risk management, Shima avoided speculative activities and was shielded from the burst of Japan's Bubble Economy. The steady performance received positive evaluation from its customers. The experienced management steered the company through the crisis and laid the foundation for the future stable growth.

    Established Singapore Branch Office, marking the expansion of Shima's network in Asia.  Initially, the main business was the distribution of metal-working oils and polishing materials in South East Asia.

    Started development of electrolyte separator materials. It was the biginning of the present battery material business line.
  • 1996

    Established Shanghai Liaison Office.
  • 1998

    Reorganized Shanghai Office as Shima Trading(Shanghai) Co., Ltd. The product lines expanded from luburicants to cosmetics materials today.
  • 2000

    Reorganized Singapore Branch Office as Shima Trading Singapore Pte. Ltd.

2001:Sep. 11 attack 2011:Great East Japan Earthquake

  • 2001

    Implemented Environmental Management System under ISO14001 in all Shima domestic offices.
  • 2002

    Participated in the establishment of Pacific Sunrise Holding Co., Ltd., Thailand. Started warehousing facilities to support distribution of luburicating oils and synthetic resins.

    Established Shima Asia Pacific Sdn. Bhd. in Malaysia to cover markets in Malaysia,India, and Indonesia.
  • 2004

    Acquired the exclusive distributorship of tribology test equipment from PCS Instruments, U.K.  This measuring system for elasto hydrodynamic lubrication is used to test the frictional properties and film thickness of bese oils and additives in a wide range of applications such as gear, marine and engine oils, textile lubricants and metal working fluids.
  • 2007

    Acquired the exclusive distributorship of UV abosorption microcapsules from Aquea Scientific, U.S.A.
  • 2008

    Opened Showroom for tribology measuring equipment and water treatment system.
  • 2009

    Acquired the exclusive distributorship of silicone D5 substitute and anti-aging agent from CIT, U.S.A.
  • 2010

    Established Seoul Liaison Office to reinforce marketing of battery materials in Korea and China. It is becoming an important marketing center in the field of secondary battery materials.

    Acquired the distributorship from Vantage, U.S.A. on natural plant-derived oils with exclusive rights for personal-care application. Also, started marketing in China as well.

    Acquired the exclusive distributorship of reactive flame retardent from FRX Polimers, U.S.A., for epoxy resin application in Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, and India.
  • 2011

    Acquired the exclusive distributorship of carbon nanotube products from SZ SUSN, China, for both Japanese and Korean markets.
  • 2013

    Established Kobe Technical Center to ensure the quality of pharmaceutical grade of liquid paraffinic oils and petrolatum with newest testing equipments and logistic facilities.
  • 2014

    Established PT.Shima Trading Indonesia. Started distribution of automotive parts, metal-working oils, etc. in Indonesian market.
  • 2015

    Started Cosmetics Laboratory for product testing and customized formulation development for cosmetics market.
  • 2018

    Established Guangzhou Liaison office to reinforce marketing and customer service in southern part of China.

    Performance Materials Lab Opened: Started research and test of anticorrosion coating treatment agent for aqueous inorganic paint. Aiming to develop various performance materials.