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Thanks to you, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of our founding in March 2019. Since our founding, we have continued to provide new excitement in response to customer requests. We will continue to maintain our sincere corporate attitude and do our best to deliver more excitement to everyone.



80th anniversary company history “Birth of TOKAI OPTICAL”

Founder Shizu Furuzawa encounters eyeglass lenses

In the first year of the Taisho era (1912-1926), the country transitioned to a modern state, and public opinion began to sway politics. The founder, Shizu Furuzawa, was born in 1911, the year before that. When he was young, he lost his mother to pneumonia, and spent his childhood struggling with pneumonia himself. The world is Taisho democracy and popular culture is flourishing, and classmates of the same generation go on to higher education and work and play an active role in society. In the midst of this, Shizu, who was delayed due to his illness, used that difficult time as a springboard to ignite his independent ambition and poured his passion into spectacle lenses.

Shizu first encountered spectacle lenses in 1927 at the age of 18 at Shimomura Lens Laboratory, which was introduced by his father. This was the first seed that led to the establishment of TOKAI OPTICAL CO.LTD. At that time, wearing glasses was a luxury for the wealthy. There were lens manufacturers in Tokyo and Osaka, but there was only one spectacle lens factory in Nagoya, this Shimomura Lens Laboratory. Since the president was a master of technology, Shimomura Lens products were highly regarded for their high quality. Shizu, who likes crafts and is good at science and mathematics, is appointed as a foreman at Shimomura Lens because of her natural craftsmanship, and she takes charge of the entire manufacturing process of eyeglass lenses.

Developed Japan’s first polishing machine for astigmatism (TC machine)

Speaking of the lens manufacturing process in the early Showa period, pressing, rough cutting, gluing, sanding, polishing, peeling, and inspection. One craftsman undertook most of this series of processes, and the craftsman completed the process until just before the inspection. The finish of the lens depends on the skill of the person, and even a skilled craftsman can only make nine astigmatic lenses a day. The production system was far from efficient and mass production. Shizu wondered if there was any way to create an efficient manufacturing method, and immediately began research on manufacturing machines for astigmatic lenses. At the end of the day’s work, he read through books with items on “glasses” and “lenses.” And one day he found a model of a lens polishing machine. Shizu, who saw it, will devote himself to machine development from the next day. Mrs. Shimomura, the president’s wife, readily consented to the development and supported it.

Development was extremely difficult. Polishing machines for astigmatic lenses require curved polishing that differs from spherical lenses, requiring high-precision processing technology. One year passed, two years passed, and finally, in the third year, we were able to produce something with satisfactory quality. Finally, with the completion of an astigmatism polishing machine (TC machine), it became possible to mass-produce 110 lenses in 4 hours of polishing, and 220 lenses in 2 rotations per day. At that time, Shizu was 23 years old. The events of that day were deeply engraved in Shizu’s personal history as the greatest achievement of his life.

Establishment of “Furuzawa Lens Factory”

The astigmatism grinder developed by Shizu became well-known within the industry, and soon other manufacturers in the same industry manufactured similar machines. The mass production system boosted domestic demand, and exports also flourished. Shizu’s passion for lenses really moved the domestic and overseas markets.

Eleven years after joining Shimomura Lens Research Institute, Shizu Furuzawa decided to go independent. Her younger brother, Masao, who joined Shimomura Lens Laboratory later, left the company at the same time. In 1939, Shizu and Masao founded the Furuzawa Lens Factory in Mukoda-cho, Naka-ku, Nagoya. In consideration of coexistence with Shimomura Lens Research Institute, we decided not to manufacture astigmatic lenses, but focused on manufacturing spherical lenses. In addition, Shizu adopted an assembly-line process that divided the manufacturing process, which was rare among lens manufacturers at the time. In view of the situation of the Sino-Japanese War, the system was designed to take the initiative in dealing with future shortages of skilled craftsmen. Furuzawa Lens decided to supply products to retail stores in and outside of Nagoya city, with a reliable eye for quality that he had trained at Shimomura Lens Research Institute and a reputation that “Shizu’s work has a strict delivery schedule.”

By the way, during the Pacific War that broke out in 1941, Nagoya, where the munitions industry was located, was in a situation where bombing could occur at any time. Meanwhile, Shizu will be evacuated from Nagoya to Okazaki. The Furuzawa lens factory was temporarily closed, and in 1944, he joined the joint venture “Nitto Kogaku Co., Ltd.” in Okazaki City. At a time when it was difficult to obtain machine parts and product materials, Shizu and Masao worked together to build a factory. However, in 1945, a B29 incendiary bomb fell on the city of Okazaki and Nitto Kogaku burned down. The war ended on August 15th of the same year. Shizu and Masao survived the war, but they started from scratch again. There was no time left to mourn the end of the war, and the two of them burned with a new fighting spirit. “Let’s start our own company again and make lenses.” Thus, Furuzawa Lens Factory set sail for a new era.

Incorporation and Road to AJOC Designated Factory

In 1947, Masao became independent as “Masao Furuzawa Lens Factory”. At that time, Shizu specialized in manufacturing lenses for astigmatism and Masao specialized in manufacturing spherical lenses. In the post-war era of material shortages, the voices of people waiting for spectacle lenses did not stop.

In October 1957, Shizu established Koyo Kogaku Co., Ltd., and in December of the same year, Masao established Shochiku Kogaku Co., Ltd. Establish a company form as a corporation and create a production system with inventory. As a result, retailers no longer need to hold inventories, and manufacturers have a wholesale function, which is very useful for retailers’ capital efficiency. The inventory policy also brings new opportunities for Shizu and Masao. In 1958, it was selected as a designated factory for joint purchasing of the ALL JAPAN OPTICAL CHAIN ​​(commonly known as AJOC), the industry’s first voluntary chain consisting of seven optical stores. This was due to their inventory policy as well as their overwhelming trust in the quality of the lenses made by the Furuzawa Brothers. Two types of lenses, the “Lumy lens” and the “collector lens,” were released, and the number of orders rapidly increased. In 1964, the Tokyo branch office was opened for quick delivery. In the same year, a branch office in Kyushu was also opened, securing a distribution base for the whole country.

Brothers Shizu and Masao, although they manufacture different lenses, have the same customers and suppliers, and have always worked together to exchange information, such as important business negotiations. It would not be an exaggeration to say that they have played a vital role in driving the spectacle lens market. And in 1965, the two decided to become the two wheels of the company both in name and reality. He founded “TOKAI OPTICAL CO., LTD.” to develop the company further by joining forces. Shizu Furuzawa, President and Representative Director, Masao Furuzawa, Executive Managing Director. The two brothers and about 100 employees steered the challenge to the new spectacle lens market with one mind. After that, TOKAI OPTICAL CO.,LTD. achieved rapid development.



80th anniversary company history “Toward plastic in the era”

Birth of the first lab and Takeo joining the company

In 1965, following the relocation of the Tokyo office and the opening of the Kyushu branch office, the Nagoya office was opened in Shirakabe-cho, Nagoya. It was the first base after the merger as TOKAI OPTICAL CO.,LTD. TOKAI OPTICAL’s first laboratory, the Nagoya Laboratory, is located on the first floor of a two-story wooden building. Here, the system for custom-made products such as bifocal lenses and custom-made lenses, which are difficult to mass-produce, was established.

At the time, custom-made lenses made from prescriptions were very difficult and expensive to manufacture, as each one had to be measured and cut by hand. In particular, internal astigmatism lenses are limited to producing two to three lenses per day, and during the first year of the laboratory’s opening, it was all it took to handle specific orders. The lab is equipped with an American-made polishing machine called Shuron. From the second year after opening, the system was put in place, and we were able to gradually expand sales to other retailers with a monthly production volume of about 3,000 pieces.

Now, in 1967, two years after the opening of the Nagoya Laboratory, there is an event in the history of TOKAI OPTICAL that cannot be ignored. Takeo, the current chairman, joined the company. After spending a week at the Kamoda Factory, Takeo was assigned to the Nagoya Lab, where he began studying spectacles. This study notebook, which was written in a B5-size magazine, was commonly known as “Takeo’s book” and became a textbook for new employees for more than 10 years.

Construction of coating lens technology

One of the keys to TOKAI OPTICAL’s growth is constant technological innovation and capital investment. In every era, TOKAI OPTICAL and AJOC continued to work hand in hand with a policy of emphasizing lens quality, which became an overwhelming differentiation from other companies.

The first job that Takeo tackled after joining the company was the development and sales of coated lenses. A coated lens is a lens in which a special substance is added to the surface of the lens to reduce light reflection and increase transmittance compared to a normal lens. In 1967, TOKAI OPTICAL decided to start manufacturing coated lenses. For the first time in Japan, we introduced two full-scale coating machines (vacuum deposition equipment) from Italy into the Kamoda Factory. Takeo also turned his attention to the GLAR vacuum deposition system. I bought 4 of these. Takeo was in his second year at the company at the time. He spares no money for a challenge. He fearlessly pushes forward with innovation. What Shizu and Takeo had in common was their insatiable desire to pursue their dreams.

Since then, the demand for coated lenses has continued to increase. On the other hand, the production system was questioned at the same time as the introduction of equipment. With new technology comes the unknown. Machine maintenance, pretreatment technology, indoor environmental technology, etc., are all related to efficiency. In addition, the introduction of a two-shift system has made labor management difficult. Despite repeated failures, TOKAI OPTICAL continued to increase its productivity and international competitiveness.

Started sales of progressive lens “ZOOM”

“Developing new products that meet the needs of our customers.” Based on this conviction, Takeo, who was the sales manager, started a new challenge. In 1969, TOKAI OPTICAL decided to sell a progressive lens (progressive lens) “ZOOM”. At that time, only TOKAI OPTICAL’s “ZOOM” and one other company had progressive lenses in the domestic market.

In 1970, Takeo went overseas for the first time and purchased a new machine. It is a full-fledged high-speed single polishing machine from France. Shorter polishing not only reduces costs, but also has the advantage of reducing inventories and work-in-progress. However, there were also problems. This machine has a method in which diamonds are affixed to the entire polishing plate, and although it has a high cutting ability, it is easily scratched, and it was not possible to produce lenses that meet domestic standards. So he solved the problem with diamond pellets developed by his own technology. The accumulation of such technical adjustments has raised the level of TOKAI OPTICAL’s technical capabilities. And with this speeding up of polishing, TOKAI OPTICAL was able to stay one step ahead of the rest of the world.

During this overseas inspection, Takeo stopped by the French plastic manufacturer Orma. At that time, the share of plastic lenses was 20% in France, and almost zero in Japan. However, Takeo felt a “sign” that could be called a wild intuition. “There’s a big opportunity here.” From this time on, Takeo devoted himself to the research of plastic lenses.

The First Year of Plastics and the Modernization of Management

“How can we make plastic as hard and strong as glass?” The development of the plastic lens was a series of failures. There is no vacuum deposition equipment for plastics anywhere. I purchased a state-of-the-art electro gun from the United States, attached it to a vapor deposition device, and used a method in which low-melting-point glass was blown out in a vacuum to vapor-deposit onto the surface of plastic. But never succeeded. In 1981, 10 years after this challenge, a vacuum deposition device called a cryopump developed in the United States was completed, and the path for plastic coating suddenly opened up.

In 1972, the Nagoya laboratory was moved to Okazaki, and the AJOC officially consulted on the technical research of plastic lenses. That year, TOKAI OPTICAL released its first plastic lens products, Measure and Super Measure, by polishing semi-finished products. The production volume of plastic lenses increased tenfold over the next 14 years.

In the following year, in 1973, the ZOOM HIFI, the first plastic progressive lens in Japan, was released as a new product of the ZOOM progressive lens. In 1976, the high-refraction glass lens 1.7 “Highlight” was released. This lens, which was developed by bringing together TOKAI OPTICAL’s coating technology, became a hit product that did not attract competitors.

1972 was also the year when the organizational strength of TOKAI OPTICAL was strengthened, and the management philosophy and policies were set out. The company made a new start with an organizational structure that strongly reflected the belief of Takeo, the sales manager, who said, “Put the customer first, act with the customer, and grow together with the customer.” While promoting modern management, we introduced a facsimile machine in 1976 and a computer the following year, building the industry’s first order-receiving network. A system of “24-hour delivery system 1DAY service” is created. “How can we continue to provide services that put our hearts into them?” This thought led to the creation of a unique service that was ahead of the industry.



80th anniversary company history “Dream New Factory”

Factory dedicated to Sunlux and plastic lenses

In 1979, Masao Furuzawa became president, Shizu became chairman, and Takeo became senior managing director. As the demand for plastic lenses increased within the industry, TOKAI OPTICAL was preparing to start not only processing but also manufacturing plastic lenses. At that time, in 1981, we formed a formal business alliance with Sunlux Co., Ltd., one of the few companies in Japan capable of manufacturing plastic lenses. This was also the turning point for TOKAI OPTICAL. It is a small factory in Sabae City, Fukui Prefecture with about 20 employees, and although it has all the equipment and equipment, it still needs to be improved in terms of management and lens quality. First and foremost, it was necessary to create a relationship between management and employees. Good products cannot be created without a good relationship of trust. It took about 9 months before production of plastic lenses for the domestic market got on track. Finally, it became possible to maintain quality that is not embarrassing as a TOKAI OPTICAL lens.

At the same time, in 1981, a new machine was installed in a corner of the Kamoda Factory. This is the first multi-coating machine for plastic lenses. As usual, this machine is not immediately usable. The engineers repeated the tests many times, and by accumulating their own know-how, TOKAI OPTICAL established a system that allowed them to sell multi-coated plastic lenses. Each of these experiences has become the spirit and technological strength of research and development that lives on at TOKAI OPTICAL. At that time, sales of plastic lenses had risen to 20% of the company’s share. In 1982, we built a new factory dedicated to plastics on land in Hina-cho, Okazaki City, in view of future demand. In this way, the production system for TOKAI OPTICAL’s original lenses was established.

TOSS & 1DAY service

In 1983, TOKAI OPTICAL received the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency Director-General’s Award for corporate rationalization. Takeo will demonstrate its driving force and further increase sales power, production power, and organizational strength. One of these efforts is the TOSS & 1DAY service. We have strengthened our customer-first principle, which states that the trust of a lens manufacturer is to “deliver the ordered lenses without error, as quickly as possible, and on time as promised.” In addition to 24-hour delivery, he built a system called “TOS (Tokai Order Service System)” to provide super-special order products that suit each customer more quickly. In the same year, Takeo became president, Masao became chairman, and Shizu became honorary chairman. Guided by the policy of “vigorous management,” TOKAI OPTICAL will be even more active under the leadership of young leaders with the ability to think.

In 1984, a continuous coating machine was installed at the Hina Factory. Until now, the batch method was used to replace the lens each time, but the fully automatic vacuum multi-layer deposition equipment, which performs a series of processes from heating to vacuum, deposition, and slow cooling, has greatly increased the speed. In addition, hard-coating equipment for plastic lenses was introduced, and productivity increased dramatically.

Birth of original brand “Beluna”

As the development of plastic lenses progressed, TOKAI OPTICAL was forced to shift from being an optical manufacturer of inorganic glass lenses to an organic chemical manufacturer. Under such circumstances, we teamed up with Showa Denko, a general chemical manufacturer. TOKOAI OPTICAL and Showa Denko started joint development based on the idea of ​​using Slapin resin, a photo-curing resin that hardens when exposed to light, for spectacle lenses. In 1984, as part of the launch of the “Sunlux Production Technology Development Project,” we proceeded with research and development. A patent is filed for the lens manufacturing method. Development continued thereafter, and in 1987, the “Beluna” was released. The development of Slapin resin is the first in the world. Its advantage is that it is scratch-resistant and thin, and its refractive index is as high as 1.53, compared to CR-39’s 1.50. And the transparency was as high as that of glass. It also has the advantages of glass lenses, such as small chromatic aberration and low internal distortion, making it a well-balanced spectacle lens product that combines the advantages of both plastic and glass lenses. This joint development further strengthened our technological capabilities and was a great advantage for TOKAI OPTICAL.

New factory completed

In 1984, TOKAI OPTICAL started the Frame Division. One of Takeo’s declarations was to create a new business axis. Furthermore, in 1986, the online system “Meganet” that connects eyeglass shops and manufacturers started. It is a joint ordering system by six manufacturers including TOKAI OPTICAL, Hattori Seiko, Pentax/Carl Zeiss, Topcon, Toray, and Teijin Lens. The stance of continuing to take on new challenges is the driving force behind TOKAI OPTICAL’s leap forward. In 1987, TOKAI OPTICAL applied for the acquisition of 10,000 tsubo of land for a new factory in the mechatronics complex in Hanazonocho, Okazaki City. On May 17, 1990, the headquarters factory was completed. “We did not relocate simply for the purpose of expanding the factory, but as a general eyewear manufacturer, based on 21st-century eyewear manufacturing, we have enhanced our service system for customers, conserved the environment in the local community, and improved the working environment, including employee welfare. , We will renew the image of TOKAI OPTICAL by enhancing the functions of the head office.” Another dream of TOKAI OPTICAL began to move with a new sound.



80th Anniversary Company History “New Challenge”

Formulation of corporate symbol

At the same time as the completion of the “10,000 tsubo dream new factory” in 1990, the corporate symbol was renewed as a guideline for a new leap forward. The design is a blue circle with a letter “i” drawn along the round edge in the upper right corner. The “i” stands for “eyes” and “love”, and is the “love” for customers to realize the customer-first principle, and the “love” of the spirit of loyalty to the company. The blue circle is the “lens” and is shining. It also means the earth, and the “i” also represents the Japanese archipelago. And the gradation is drawn to make a leap forward on the global stage. At the same time, we have established three pillars as our long-term vision: “Developing even higher quality products by making full use of our unique optical technology cultivated over many years” and “In addition to the pillar of the eyewear business, we will build new pillars by leveraging our unique technologies.” “To expand the market not only in Japan but to the world, and to carry out global sales development”.

i Division

Dare to do something new that will power your company. At TOKAI OPTICAL, where such intentions flow unbroken, the “i Division” was launched during the second medium-term plan. What I worked on was the “Aikot Department,” which handles the “Aikot” brand of sports lenses such as prescription lenses for diving. The next business was the “iCS Department,” which undertakes multi-coating. Introduced two multi-coating machines to the Hina Factory for new products that make use of TOKAI OPTICAL’s vacuum deposition technology. This lens spread to domestic and overseas sales networks through trading companies. In addition, we launched a “medical eyeglass department” to establish a new field from a medical perspective.

In the sense of a new business, there is the “frame business” that we have started before. In 1988, “Charol Raison” was released as TOKAI OPTICAL’s original brand frame. Exhibited for the first time at the “International Optical Exhibition IOFT Exhibition ’88”, one of the largest eyewear exhibitions in Asia, and presented “Beluna” and “Charol Raison” on a large scale.

Excellent talent in development and technology

One of the new challenges for the establishment of the new building was the “polymerization (casting)” at the head office. Until now, it had been conducted at Sunlux, but it was decided to move to the new company building for the purpose of original development of materials with high refractive index. The highest refractive index at the time was 1.6, which was the competitor’s. To create a product that surpasses that, the research and development team spent a year developing it, and in 1991, TOKAI OPTICAL’s original high refractive index plastic lens No. 1 “SP (Super) 1.6” was born. As a result, we completed a truly integrated production system as “the only lens manufacturer in Japan that handles everything from material development to production and sales in-house.”

Excellent human resources belong to the research and development department, and research and development is the lifeline that maintains contact with customers. The three pillars of development are the development of materials (development of lenses with a high refractive index), the development of surface treatment technology (development of secondary processing such as multi-coating, hard coating, and dyeing), and the development of designs (aspheric design, development of progressive design). In particular, we spared no effort in training specialists. Of particular note is the presence of engineers who pioneered the development of original progressive lenses and optical thin films. Their approach to research has dramatically revolutionized TOKAI OPTICAL’s technical capabilities.

Aspheric Lens and Progressive Lens

I don’t mind taking on difficult challenges. This is the underlying strength of the progressive lens developers that TOKAI OPTICAL boasts. I started studying aspherical lenses in 1990, and continued to challenge development with the processing department of the Kamoda factory. The aspherical lens (Beluna HI-AS MC99) was completed. Using the development of the aspherical lens as a starting point, he began designing a progressive lens with a higher degree of difficulty. There are only a handful of designers of progressive lenses in the world, and the development process seemed endless. After 3 years of hardship, in 1995, “Near Use Wide Vision Cosmo Life” (Beluna UNO was released the following year). After applying for a patent in Japan for a progressive lens for near-term use, it was also applied for and approved in the United States and Europe. In 1998, a new type of progressive lens with a 15 mm progressive zone and a refractive index of 1.6 was released. In this way, TOKAI OPTICAL engineers became one of the world’s leading progressive lens designers.

Dawn of optical thin films

Optical thin film engineers laid the foundation for a new path for TOKAI OPTICAL. Around 1993, the yield of the aspherical lens “Multi 99” was low, and the production technology had to be reviewed. Under such circumstances, a young engineer was entrusted with the task of re-learning thin film technology from the basics and conducting applied research other than spectacle lenses as a technical task. When he was dispatched as a research student to a university professor who was an authority on thin film research, he encountered optical thin films at the training site.

The base was moved to the Hina Plant to concentrate on research on thin film technology, and after a while, orders for optical thin films were received. The request was to vapor-deposit a reflective film on the tip of an optical fiber used for optical communication so that the laser beam would fly smoothly. In 1996, he established the Thin Film Department. Three members, sales in the first year were small.

TOKAI OPTICAL’s vapor deposition technology has a long track record of coating glass lenses. Optical thin film, on the other hand, is a technology that increases light transmittance and reflectance by vacuum-depositing a thin film on the surface of an object such as glass or resin. It has the functions of preventing reflection of light, removing infrared rays, and controlling light wavelengths, and its application range is wide, including cameras, televisions, personal computers, mobile phones, car navigation systems, etc., in addition to eyeglasses. However, it is technically extremely difficult. In the case of spectacle lenses, there are 3 to 5 layers to be vapor-deposited, but in the case of optical filters, there are about 40 layers, which requires nano-order thin film technology. The technology gained a good reputation, and two years after the establishment of the Thin Film Department, it was promoted to the “Thin Film Division.”

“Okay, let’s build a thin film factory.” In the 21st century, TOKAI OPTICAL’s second business with the desire to grow. In 2001, the thin film factory was completed.



80th anniversary company history “From Japan to the world”

Hirokazu joins the company Passing on to the next generation

Hirokazu, the current president, joined the company in April 1994. After completing overseas inspection training and factory training, he was assigned to the sales department, and in 1999, he became the director of the president’s office. The following year, when President Takeo was about to turn 60, he started Furuzawa Juku as a place to pass down the DNA of the next generation of leaders. In addition, the 5th medium-term management plan was started by project members led by Hirokazu. Under the policy of “creating new corporate value based on thorough customer consideration and becoming a global company,” we have adopted a “market-oriented approach,” “improvement of added value,” “implementation of speedy management,” and “prompt and accurate management.” We have renewed our determination to create new corporate value, such as the ability to respond effectively. In this way, preparations to succeed TOKAI OPTICAL proceeded steadily. One of the three pillars of our long-term vision is to “expand the market beyond Japan to the rest of the world and carry out global sales development.” In order to put this into practice, we also focused on overseas expansion. In 2000, the “Overseas Division” was established along with the strengthening of the thin film business.

Starting overseas business

Going back a little in history, our first foothold in overseas business was in 1990, when we challenged the Taiwanese market with the world’s first light-curing resin lens. TOKAI OPTICAL’s market share increased significantly through transactions with trading companies and distributors in Taiwan. After that, it expanded to Southeast Asia such as Indonesia and Singapore, and then expanded to the United States, Canada, and Western Europe.

In 1991, in addition to collecting information on European sales channels at the “Optica Exhibition” held in Cologne, Germany, and the “MIDO Exhibition (MIDO)” held in Milan, Italy, “refractive index 1.60” was also introduced in Europe. Well received. TOKAI OPTICAL’s quality was certainly appreciated by the overseas market. After that, he continued to connect with world-famous eyewear stores and laboratories through trading companies, and in 1995 established a joint venture, TOKAI OPTECS NV, with Belgium as the base of its global network.

World-leading development capabilities

“Become a global company”. Its stance has been sharpened year by year, and as the TOKAI brand, it will build its position in Japan and eventually in the world. In 2000, when the Overseas Business Department was established, we acquired the international standard “ISO9001” certification for quality control and assurance, and also acquired the international standard “ISO14001” certification for environmental management. In 2004, we were certified as an “Aichi brand company”, which is a selection of excellent manufacturing companies in Aichi prefecture. A stronger foundation has been established for the organization.

In April 2006, the world’s first and highest refractive index of 1.76 single focal plastic lens “Beluna ZX-AS” was released. In June of the same year, the world’s thinnest lens “Beluna ZX-MU” was released, attracting attention both in Japan and overseas. Both were extremely difficult to develop, but their high quality was enough to show TOKAI OPTICAL’s high technological prowess. In September of the same year, we also developed a custom-ordered lens called the S-280D. As a “artisan” lens, it became a product that further appealed its technical capabilities. In 2009, Takeo Furuzawa assumed the post of chairman and Hirokazu Furuzawa assumed the post of president. I started running into a new era.

Bringing the TOKAI brand to the world

The expansion of the overseas business developed with speed. In 2002, we gave a presentation in the United States to introduce our products, and our high-quality lenses were well received. The following year, the long-awaited entry into the American market was achieved. With that as an opportunity, we will be proud of our sales performance in more than 60 countries around the world.

In 2010, TOKAI Shanghai was established. Established a local subsidiary and finally made inroads into China. In 2012, we exhibited for the first time at SIOF (Shanghai International Optical Exhibition). Since then, we have continued to exhibit, and at the SIOF held in February 2019, we exhibited TOKAI OPTICAL’s unique products such as “1.76 products”, “Lutina”, and “Hadabijin”, and received a great response.

Especially in the Asian market, the reliability of high-quality lenses made in Japan is very high. In Europe, TOKAI ITALIA was established in 2014. In 2016, TOKAI UK was established to expand sales performance in the EU. TOKAI OPTICAL’s unique technology is a driving force that will surely open up the future and move the times.



80th Anniversary Company History “Demonstration of Originality”

Birth of Neuroscience eyeglass lenses

President Takeo (current chairman) was struck by the information that Neuroscience was being used when tasting sake, and that was his first encounter with Neuroscience. Human subjectivity and what the brain perceives are not necessarily the same. Taking this as a hint, he contacted NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting, which is in charge of Neuroscience research, and began researching whether it was possible to evaluate progressive lenses using Neuroscience. As a result of various tests, it was found that the measurement results of brain waves could be reflected in the lens design, and a top-secret project was started.

In particular, for bifocals (progressive lenses), there is no such thing as “the best”, and there is a large difference in the comfort of vision. Therefore, we devised a lens that reflects the “comfort of seeing” when wearing it by measuring the comfort that people feel with brain waves and analyzing emotional movements. Created the industry’s first “Neuroscience eyeglass lens” that makes the brain happy when worn.

At iOFT 2008 held at Tokyo Big Sight in 2008, the neuroscience eyeglass lens “Beluna Resonas” was announced.

10 years of Neuroscience eyeglass lenses

Neuroscience spectacle lenses have established a position both inside and outside the industry that is synonymous with “TOKAI OPTICAL is synonymous with Neuroscience.” After Beluna Resonas was announced, Resonas WS in 2009, Resonas Fit in 2010, Resonas MT and Resonus Fit WS in 2011, and the “Neuroscience Eyeglass Lens Series” were announced one after another. Furthermore, in collaboration with the National Institute for Physiological Sciences (Professor Ryusuke Kakinoki, Associate Professor Koji Inui), where the world’s most advanced Neuroscience research is being conducted, we announced the “Beluna Resonas Presso”, a progressive lens for near and middle ages. It has been evaluated as the latest Neuroscience that is also valuable from the point of view. In 2013, we developed the “Beluna Granas”, a progressive lens that looks optimal when viewed with both eyes by evaluating the lens with a magnetoencephalogram (MEG). In the following year, we released the Beluna Neurogran, which introduced an original optimal correction system that matched the individuality of each individual’s eyes. In this way, 10 years after its birth, the neuroscience eyeglass lens series has expanded to 17 products. In 2018, we announced the culmination of our efforts, “Resonas X (Ten),” and realized a lens with a “comfortable wearing feeling that extends to the brain,” incorporating all of our previous technologies.

eye care design

Taking the opportunity of iOFT2014 in 2014, TOKAI OPTICAL launched the concept of manufacturing to protect the health of the eyes: “Protect your eyes from light more to stay healthy. Eye care design that creates future standards.” . The first lens that embodies this is the new product “Lutina”. Focusing on “lutein” present in the “macula”, which is important for seeing things, we have developed a lens that reduces consumption of lutein by cutting light. The differentiation and new concept of eye health has been accepted in the market and recognized as TOKAI OPTICAL’s main brand. A major pillar of TOKAI OPTICAL is the unique manufacturing that creates new value that has yet to be seen in the industry with such technological and development capabilities that cannot be imitated by other companies.

Women’s breakthrough

In 2011, in the midst of calls to promote the active participation of women, an all-female product development team, “Joshikai,” was established with the aim of differentiating itself from other companies by developing new products from a female perspective. From development to sales, an all-female team worked, and in 2012, the first Joshikai original product “Hadabijin” was announced. Introduced personal color theory to lens development and held experience-based seminars nationwide. We adopted a sales support method in which employees with personal color advisor qualifications directly coordinate eyeglasses for customers. This was well received, and in 2013, the second product “Handsome Man” was released, and in addition, “Hadabijin +”, which was also involved in the development of eyeglass frames, was released, and the series became a big hit. After that, the members of Joshikai will continue to make great strides. In order to investigate the scientific basis that color brings to the human body, we enlisted the cooperation of a medical doctor who is familiar with color psychotherapy and conducted a clinical trial. As a result, many people responded that the pink wavelength refreshed their feelings and made them brighter. Based on that, we developed pink sunglasses “Bibi Pink”. This was picked up by various media such as NHK, and was selected as an excellent winning idea in the “Healthcare Brain Challenge” of the Cabinet Office’s Impulsing Transformational Research and Development Program (ImPACT).

Thanks to the success of Joshikai, the active use of women in various fields within the company has progressed. Currently, there are 10 products by Joshikai, and it is expected that they will continue to play an active role in the future.

A new challenge for the optical products business

In 2013, the name was changed from the thin film division to the optical products division, and a direction was set out from commissioned processing to a proposal-based development team. At the time, the company was engaged in the development of LED lighting for the video industry, but during a meeting with President Hirokazu, the opinion was expressed that it would be better to use in-house products that emphasize the characteristics of the company rather than lighting fixtures. The TL-100 spectral transmittance meter was developed for this purpose. It is easier to measure than the conventional one, and it has a compact and simple structure.

In 2016, an engineer from TOKAI OPTICAL took second place at the design contest of the International Conference on Optical Thin Films (OIC) held in Arizona, USA. He has deepened exchanges with experts, researchers, and engineers in the field of optical thin films, and has become a driving force behind TOKAI OPTICAL’s technological capabilities. Furthermore, in 2018, the optical sensor concentrator developed and manufactured by the Optical Function Division was adopted by the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, the University of Tokyo, for the Cherenkov Telescope Array, one of the world’s largest gamma-ray observatories in the Spanish Canary Islands. installed. The fact that they relied on TOKAI OPTICAL’s technical capabilities in the field of cosmic ray research, an international joint project that requires high technology, once again led to their confidence and pride in their own technology.

In November 2018, construction of the Shinpukuji Factory No. 2 Factory began (scheduled for completion in November 2019). Assuming future expansion of the optical function division, we are planning to introduce vapor deposition and packaging lines. Aiming at the creation of core technologies and new technological innovations toward the 100th anniversary of TOKAI OPTICAL, the new plant should serve as a core that brings new life to life. We will continue to refine the high-quality technology that only TOKAI OPTICAL can provide and transmit it to the world.