Meet Shinto

I see you have been established since 1907 - Who founded the business?

It's a little complicated actually.
Our company was at first established as LLC by 3 families including my
grandfather's lineage and my grandmother's lineage.
But as far as I have heard from my grandfather (the former CEO), the
founder is my grand grand grandfather (my grandmother's grandfather).

Have the products evolved much during this time?

At first our company had been manufacturing very plain normal white
terry towels using water from river nearby for the refining process.
Compared to that age we have very much evolved refining machines to
maximize the absorbency and dye in many colors, we have invented new
weaves such as gauze, inner-pile, and 2.5-ply gauze, so we should be
able to say yes to this question.

What was your first product?

As I mentioned above, our company's first product was very plain white
terry towel.
For me, my first product which I was involved in the development from
zero-base was 2.5-ply gauze towel.

Where do you source your cotton and why?

Right now we are using organic cotton yarn spun in India.
The reason for this is the balance of quality and price.
The quality of Indian cotton is quite good, and the price is not too
high because India is not very far from Japan so that we can save the
transporting cost.

Do you live near the factory? In a village or city? What is it called?

I used to live in my family house which is very near from the factory.
About a 2-minute walk.
But I moved when I got married, and now my house is a little further but
still about 5 minutes by bike.
The place is called Hineno in Izumisano-city, a country-side city in Osaka.
This region is the birthplace of towel-manufacturing industry of Japan,
and still remaining as a production area.

How many staff?

We have 24 staff in total.
4 artisans for the production, 8 for the sewing, 7 for the inspection, 3
for the sales and 2 for the office work and accounting.

Do you have a family, parents/ children living close by?

My grandfather (the former CEO) has passed away 7 years ago, so my
grandmother and my parents are living in my family house.
And I am living with my wife and two kids.

Please feel free to ask me more if you came up with more questions!