Our History


The history of MATSUO SANGYO started when Akira Matsuo, the first president of the company, founded a company named MATSUO AKIRA SHOTEN in Minami Ward, Osaka City in January 1938 with the mission of distributing coating materials and nonferrous metals. The company was forced to close temporarily due to the Second World War; but it decided to recommence operations again in 1947 with only a single employee, the endorsement of its friends and acquaintances, and the support of the warm friendship and trust of its customers.


Subsequently, the Japanese economy recovered from the post-war confusion and desolation, and finally got things going and moving forward steadily. When many companies started to reorganize their company structures, MATSUO also quickly switched its organization to that of a corporation on July 21, 1949, and was relaunched as MATSUO SHOTEN Co., Ltd.

Our company, which has be en involved with the world of industry as a coating expert since its foundation, became an exclusive distributor of International Aluminum, Inc. (currently known as Alcan, Inc.) in western Japan in February 1954, and we began distributing imported aluminum pastes. At that time, aluminum powders were mostly used for metallic pigments, and aluminum pastes were almost unknown. We were the first company to introduce aluminum pastes (product name: ALPASTE) to Japan for applications in metallic pigments.

The introduction of this new material (unveiled for the first time by MATSUO) became a turning point for the coating industry, and these metallic coatings became one of our mainstream products, establishing our position in the coating industry. However, in the beginning, these products were not so easily distributed.


When we started selling aluminum pastes, there was no existing demand, and we therefore had to start by developing applications. As a result, we could not accelerate our sales as we had hoped, and at times we were stuck with a warehouse full of stock. It proved to be a beginning full of difficulties. However, we patiently continued our application development and sales efforts, and eventually, one of the leading coating manufacturers decided to adopt our leafing-type aluminum pastes as their coating material in May 1954. The year 1954 has become an extremely important turning point in MATSUO's history in the sense that it is when the history of today's aluminum pastes began.

In June of the same year, another leading coating manufacturer decided to use aluminum pastes in large volumes. This expanded our sale opportunities for aluminum pastes to other coating manufacturers. Thus, we obtained an exclusive distributorship for aluminum pastes in Japan, and we commenced sales activities throughout the country. Due to this expansion in our field of operations, we established our Tokyo Office, which is our current Tokyo Branch, in 1955.

In 1957, Toyo Aluminum, K.K. obtained a license from Alcan, Inc., and commenced the manufacture of aluminum pastes in Japan. Therefore, MATSUO SHOTEN, which was the exclusive distributor of International Aluminum, Inc., became a distributor of Toyo Aluminum, K.K. in order to continue its efforts to expand its market.

Subsequently, a number of large coating manufacturers who were also our customers extended their reaches to Nagoya in order to expand their coating markets for automobile applications. Accordingly, we also opened our Nagoya Office (now Nagoya Branch) in 1961.


Through this sales experience of aluminum pastes, we have learned how to make proposals based on accurately analyzed customer needs, including application development proposals, acquired technical know-how and a keen sense of the times. In this manner, we established the basis for our sales force and expanded our business into a wide variety of industries.

In addition to aluminum pastes, MATSUO SHOTEN has sold acetyl-coated pipes, which were developed and sold by Nagoya Rubber Co., Ltd. (now Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.) in 1957, as one of the distributors of these products. Subsequently, Iwai Sangyo Co., Ltd (now Sojitz Corporation), which was the exclusive distributor, withdrew from the business with the result that other distributors gained opportunities to deliver products directly to manufacturers. This led us to an encounter with Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd., leading us to the development of a further business, the delivery of resin-formed products to Subaru Rabbit (Rabbit Scooter). These sales of acetyl-coated pipes opened up new business opportunities with Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd.

In 1964 we celebrated the 15th anniversary since our fresh start after the war in 1949, and at this opportunity, we changed our corporate name from MATSUO SHOTEN Co., Ltd. to our current name, MATSUO SANGYO Co., Ltd


1958 was the year Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd. introduced their first automobile the "Subaru 360 Sedan", and along with this release, the scope of our business also expanded into the automobile industry. Subsequently, our sales volumes increased in proportion to the numbers of automobiles being manufactured. In 1968, we opened the Ohta Satellite Office in Gunma Prefecture (now Ohta Branch), and handled automobile parts as technology experts. For the full model changes that took place once every few years, we joined projects from the stages of concept building and brainstorming. In 2001, we received the "2001 Supplier of the Year" award, which is bestowed by General Motors (GM) in the US on one company each year whose quality, service, technology and prices are the best in comparison with other suppliers worldwide. Our attitude toward development and commitment to quality regularly receive high praise.


Thereafter, we obtained an exclusive distributorship for electrostatic powder coating machines provided by ITW Gema AG (based in Switzerland) in 1969, and we also became a distributor of Showa Aluminum in 1971, so we began distributing processed aluminum products. In addition, we started selling optical fiber as a distributor of SUMITA Optical Glass, Inc. in 1976. In this manner, we have aggressively expanded our market in a wide range of industries since our foundation and have become highly trusted by our customers in each industry.

These belief, "Creating a Chain of Trust and Past Achievement that Generates New Business" and "Maintaining a Desire to Take on New Challenges", are still being passed on to the members of MATSUO SANGYO.

MATSUO has grown, and will continue to grow, together with its customers.