Jujiro Matsuda - Toyo Kogyo and Mazda

Toyo Kogyo and Mazda

By 1921, Jujiro Matsuda was a wealthy man thanks to his previous business ventures. He moved back to Hiroshima when he was asked to take over management of floundering artificial cork manufacturer Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd. (東洋コルク工業株式会社, Tōyō Koruku Kōgyō Kabushiki Gaisha?), which was placed into receivership by its creditors when the market for artificial cork dried up following the end of World War I. The unprofitable cork business ceased, and Matsuda focused on tool manufacturing. 1931 oversaw the introduction of the "Mazdago" motorized tricycle, manufactured in what is now Fuchū city and the company, now known as Toyo Kogyo Co., Ltd. (東洋工業株式会社, Tōyō Kōgyō Kabushiki Gaisha?), would set its focus on motor vehicle manufacturing.

The Toyo Kogyo headquarters saw heavy damage on August 6, 1945 upon the bombing of Hiroshima. The Fuchū city plant, 5.3 kilometers from the site of the explosion was left relatively unscathed and Matsuda offered its use for the Hiroshima bureau of NHK.

Matsuda was not accused of being nor was he charged as a war conspirator, and a revitalized Toyo Kogyo was the main force behind repairing the damaged economy of Hiroshima following World War II. In 1950, Toyo Kogyo provided startup for a baseball team, the Hiroshima Carp.

His adopted son-in-law, Tsuneji Matsuda succeeded him as president of Toyo Kogyo, and oversaw the expansion of its automobile division until 1979, when Ford Motor Company took a 25% equity stake in Toyo Kogyo.

The alliance with Ford led to the divestiture of shares from the Matsuda family and the change of Toyo Kogyo into Mazda Motor Corporation in 1984. The Matsuda family still owns a controlling interest in the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

Matsuda died on March 27, 1952. For his contributions to Hiroshima Prefecture, a bronze statue of Jujiro Matsuda was created in 1965 by Onomichi, Hiroshima native, sculptor Katsuzou Entsuba and was erected at the Minami-ku park.

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