The Arakawa family is said to have originated in Osaka.An old family that has prospered since the early 18th century.
The tenth generation Masujiro Arakawa (shop founder) had an apprentice at a cotton wholesaler, Kinchu-shoten (at the time, the master of the shop was Fujii Jirobei), in Kyoto Higashi-no-Toin Rokkaku-sagaru. In 1886 he was granted permission to open his own shop.
The next year, he se up independently in Sapporo, Hokkaido in February 1887. After discussing being in direct competition with the master of his apprenticeship in the wholesale cotton trade, Imai Tohichi (founder of the Imai Gofuku store) suggested specializing in kimono neckpiece accessories.
theKanemasu trademark is a combination of the Chinese characters of'kane' for his employer's house's name,'Kaneichi', and the'masu' of his own name, Masujiro.
Thereafter he was known as Kanemasu.
And so on February 8, 1887 the current company president's great great grandfather Arakawa Masujiro established himself as a kimono neckpiece accessory and dyed goods maker and retailer. In those days it was a modest shop in the Nishki-koji-Higashi-no-Toin street district, and it was some years before shop staff were hired. Continued and devoted hard work since founding the business made the company the market leader and largest manufacturer by the Taisho Period. The name Arakawa has become synonymous with quality. The success of Arakawa became a model in the industry for all aspiring businesses to emulate.
Furthermore, expansion into Muromachi Ayanokoji was heralded as a success by all Kyoto wholesalers.In October 1922, the tenth generation Arakawa Masujiro changed his name to Kazumoto. The 11th generation succeeded to his professional name Masujiro, and the his acheivements grew. Continuing through the upheavals of war and the Great Kanto Earthquake, the company grew, winning customers and acclaim in Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria and the Chinese continent.
On December 27, 1931 the company became a limited stock company, and the foundations for a modern business were established. In 1942, under national regulations the company registered as a Japanese garment, silk and rayon textiles manufacturer and wholesaler, and changed its name to Arakawa & Co.,Ltd. After the end of the war in 1947, the company was registered as a manufacturer and wholesaler of Japanese garments, silk and rayon textiles. In 1949, as the regulation on silks and rayon was lifted, there was a renaissance in the Japanese clothing manufacturing and wholesale industries. The difficult post-war era of regulation was overcome through the efforts of the entire company, ensuring the name and traditions of the brand were preserved.
In 1954, in conjunction with Toray Co. Ltd, the company mutually developed Japanese clothing, and began manufacture and sales.
In 1957, a Western clothing section was established, and under the 'Amour' trademark began nationwide manufacturing and wholesaling of negligees, pajamas, and robes, and other nightclothes.
Furthermore, in the post war years capital stock increased every year, and now stands at JPY 99,000,000. Branches increased too, with new branches in Sapporo (1946), Tokyo (1949), Nagoya (1955), and Osaka (1957). A sales outlet network from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu and Okinawa in the south is going strong. Working closely with our customers - from famous department stores to small specialist outlets -- we continue to develop our products and improve our service.