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Corporate Infromation

History

The Origin of Our Name

Froebel-Kan is named after German educator Friedrich Wilhelm A. Froebel (1782-1852). He established the first kindergarten in the world and also opened centers for training childcare providers.
He also created the concept of and produced the first "Gifts", which are the origin of toy building blocks. For these great achievements he is known as the father of child education.

The History of Froebel-Kan

1907
  • Jiro Takaichi opened the store Shiromaruya in 4-chome, Iida-machi, Kojimachi-ku, Tokyo and began research, manufacturing, and sales of childcare products.
1908
  • The Japan Toy Research Society was established inside the store.
  • The store was moved to Kudan-Nakazakaue and renamed to Froebel-Kan.
1910
  • Displayed a Froebel Gift and won a prize at the Japan-British Exhibition.
1920
  • Froebel-Kan was reorganized as a limited company.
1921
  • Manufactured and produced Manten Kureon (Japan's first crayons).
  • The new company office was completed in Imakawa Koji, Kanda-ku on March 1, and the company was promoted as the leading children's department store in the East.
1927
  • Launched Kinderbook, an "observation" picture book, in accordance with the Kindergarten Law. The first issue was entitled All About Rice.
1959
  • Established the Froebel Boys' Choir.
1961
  • The Froebel Boys' Choir's first performance was held.
  • The Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. publishing department (Toppan Picture Books) was merged with Froebel-Kan.
1973
  • Anpanman first appeared in Kinder Story Picture Book.
1987
  • The Japanese language version of Where's Wally?, the first book in the Where's Wally? series, was published to great acclaim.
1988
  • The animated program Anpanman began playing on Nippon Television channels.
1989
  • The animated film Anpanman Twinkle Tear opened.
1991
  • The Japanese language version of the Where's Wally? series was an unprecedented hit.
  • Gifts and the Froebel Childcare Building Blocks were certified as Good Toys 100 Best Toys.
1993
  • The company was moved from Ogawa-machi, Kanda to its current location in Honkomagome, Bunkyo-ku.
2002
  • Ehon to Omocha no Omise (Picture Book and Toy Shop) was established in the head office.
2007
  • 100 years have passed since the company was established, and 80 years since the initial publication of Kinderbook.
  • Established a Corporate Philosophy.
  • The Yokohama Anpanman Children's Museum & Mall and Mori no Honyasan (Anpanman Picture Book Store) were opened.
  • Froebel-Kan won prizes at the 1st Kids Design Award for Kindermarker Tafukko markers (Gold Award [Minister of Economy,Trade and Industry Award] Safety Design Award ), the Kinderbeacle bicycle and tricycle series, and the Mori no Honyasan (Anpanman Picture Book Store).
  • An exhibition in honor of the company's 100th anniversary was held at the Tokyo International Forum.
2008
  • Over 10 million Japanese language picture books in the Where's Wally? series have been sold.
2009
  • Anpanman set a Guinness World Record for its 1,768 characters.
  • The Froebel Boys' Choir celebrated its 50th anniversary.
2013
  • 40 years have passed since ANPANMAN was first published, and 25 years since it was adapted as an animated television show and movie.
  • Publication of YANASE TAKASHI ON STAGE (commemorative volume).
  • 25 years have passed since the Japanese language version of the Where's Wally? was first published.
2014
  • YANASE TAKASHI ON STAGE received Prize from President of Japan Book Publishers Association the 48th Japan Book Design Councour.
2015
  • Froebel-kan won prizes at the 9th Kids Design Award (METI Minister’s Award) for “Who ate it?” Visual Acuity Test Kit for Children Age Three and Older.
  • Froebel Kodomo Plaza (Froebel Children’s Plaza), an indoor play center and support facility, was established.
  • Over 75 million copies of the ANPANMAN picture book series have been sold.
2016
  • Began broadcasting a new children’s animation television program, KINDER TV, as a TXN News Network affiliate.
  • Froebel-kan Kinder Platz, an admission-paid playroom was established in Kanagawa Prefecture.
 

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