Episode 6 History of company founder Nichimu Inada

Nichimu Inada is the founder and president of FAMILY INADA. Through success and failure he has been a manufacturer of massage chairs for more than a half century.His history as a manufacturer is introduced below.

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To an all-round manufacturer taking advantage of the beauty and health boom

Change of company name to "Family Co., Ltd."

The company showed steady growth due to integrated management conducted together with employees.
In March, 1970, the company name was changed from “Chuo Bussan Co., Ltd.” to “Family Co., Ltd.”

Inada’s thoughts about integrated management with employees were included in the company name “Family.”

When Inada was thumbing through the pages of a dictionary to find a good word, the word “family” jumped off the page.
It meant “kazoku (household members),” “nakama (company),” and “doushi (comrades).”

Now, many people know the various meanings of the word “family.”
In those days, however, English education in Japan had not yet been developed.
For Inada, the word was a novelty.

Then, Inada was impressed because it was the form of management he had been aiming for.
A single “family” exactly expressed his desires:
to conduct management together with employees friendly as a “family,” and as “company” and “comrades” creating the company, and to expand the home use of massage chairs, the mainstream of which had been professional-use.

Success in diversification of management riding the crest of the health and beauty boom

Inada, having made a new step as Family Co., Ltd., had a vision of a new line of business.

The 1970s were a time when the Japanese economy was experiencing great expansion.
It can be said that people enjoying a better life started to turn their eyes not only to food, clothing and housing, but also to pleasures in their life.
Inada had his eyes focused on the beauty and health boom during this time, when health appliances, facial massagers, and other devices started to appear on the market and become hot-selling products in response to many women’s desires to become “beautiful” and “slim.”

Inada groped for the development of a new line of business by visiting authentic esthetic salons and slimming classes, in western countries and took an interest in what he encountered there.
In western countries, beauty-related industries had already become mainstream.
Inada remarked that these would also become very big in Japan.

After returning to Japan, Inada started a new line of business under the theme “Beauty and Health” for Japanese people.

Enjoying a burst of popularity in a new business chain

First, he started up with slimming classes. He opened “Proportion Academy” under the theme of slimming with machines and exercise. It was the first full-fledged slimming class in Japan.

By using the technology of developing massage chairs, he constructed slimming know-how by means of roller machines together with experts in kinematics. He won the hearts of many women who wanted to slim down effortlessly not by only exercising, but through mechanical support. This chain of slimming establishments expanded to 48 around Japan.

Three years later, he also opened the esthetic salon “SIMONE MAHLER.”
Inada had been moved by the esthetic salon “SIMONE MAHLER” he saw in Paris during a visit to Europe.
The founder of this SIMONE MAHLER was the first director of the World Association of Esthetic Salons.

Inada had just succeeded in importing the world’s leading esthetic salon to Japan.

In addition, he set himself to the task of development of weight training products. Developed hydraulic cylinder type training machines were introduced to over 700 facilities.

Success in a new line of business under the theme of beauty and health flowed continuously, and sales reached 10 billion yen. In those days, the composition of massage chairs in sales was approximately 20%. Inada was certainly moving toward becoming an all-round manufacturer of beauty and health.


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