Corporate Information

History of Sumitomo Forestry

The Sumitomo Spirit - at the core of all our businesses

At the very root of Sumitomo Forestry businesses is the Sumitomo Spirit- the cornerstone of trust in the Sumitomo Group.

The Sumitomo Spirit was set down in the Rules Governing the "House of Sumitomo" in 1891 as Our Business Principles based on the Founder's Precepts, written by Sumitomo founder Masatomo Sumitomo in the 17th century. These principles go beyond simple trade lessons to contain precepts encouraging character development, such as "placing prime importance on integrity and sound management," and "under no circumstances shall Sumitomo pursue easy gains or act imprudently."


Began using timber harvested in neighboring forestlands to fortify the Besshi Copper Mine, where the Sumitomo family started mining operations.


With the advocacy of Teigo Iba, manager of the Besshi Copper Mine, prepared a forestation plan in the spirit of repaying for what had been reaped from the land.


Established the Forestry Department within the Besshi Mining Plant and started the forestry business.


Started forestry business on Sumatra, Borneo, and Java islands to develop resources in southern areas.


・Divided into six companies (including establishment of the foundations of the current Sumitomo Forestry) under the government's zaibatsu* dissolution order.

・The six companies subsequently merged into two companies (Toho Norin and Shikoku Ringyo) through two mergers.

*Zaibatsu: family-run conglomerate operating as an industrial group in Japan.


Toho Norin Co., Ltd. and Shikoku Ringyo Co., Ltd. merged to form Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd., and established a nationwide network to procure and sell domestic timber.


Import business for foreign timber started


Started the built-for-sale housing business.


Established a joint venture, P.T. Kutai Timber Indonesia (KTI), in Indonesia and launched a full-scale building materials business based on plywood manufacturing.


Open Bay Timber (OBT) begins operation


KTI builds local plywood plant


Started construction for high-grade, custom-built housing.


Launched the full-scale production of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) in New Zealand at a plant operated by joint-venture company, Nelson Pine Industries Ltd. (NPIL).


・Gained listing of Sumitomo Forestry stock on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

・Joint venture for particle board production in Indonesia, PT. Rimba Partikel Indonesia, is established


・Established Tsukuba Research Institute.

・Started Tropical Forest Regeneration Project in Indonesia.


Established the INOS Group, a partnership of housing construction companies and builders, for the purposes of improving wooden housing construction productivity and the quality of wooden housing.


Joint venture for speaker box production in Indonesia, PT. Ast Indonesia, is established


Inaugurated the Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori Project to regenerate the mountain's natural forests, which were damaged by a typhoon.


Tsukuba Research Institute developed a mass propagation method for Dipterocarp family trees through tissue culture.


Established Sumitomo Forestry Crest Co., Ltd. through the merger of Sumitomo Forestry Crex Co., Ltd., Sumirin Holz Co., Ltd., Sumirin Plywood Industries, Ltd., and Fuji Incombustible Building Materials Industry Co., Ltd.


Bennett SFS LLC established as a joint venture with local builders in Seattle, WA, U.S.


・Started providing customers of Sumitomo Forestry's Home with our Long Support System, which includes sixty years of after-sales service.

・Started selling built-for-sale housing in Seattle, U.S.A.


Invested in residential housing construction companies in China. Entered the Chinese housing market.


Developed Japan's first "Big-frame Configuration" (wooden beam Rahmen structure).


・Merged with Ataka Kenzai Co., Ltd.

・Entered the custom-built detached housing business in South Korea.


Formulated "Project SPEED"Long - Term Management Plan.


・Forestation management business model using satellites selected for the Space Open Lab project organized by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

・Launch of biomass power generation business in Japan

・Acquisition of the FSC forest management certification by PT. Kutai Timber Indonesia

・Acquisition of the PEFC chain of custody certification by the timber department and building materials department (headquarters of the timber and building materials business)

・Started housing business in Australia by establishing a joint venture, Henley-SFC Housing Pty Ltd.


・Started Project EARTH

・Established PT. Sinar Rimba Pasifik, which conducts manufacture and sales of wood interior materials, in Indonesia


Established the particle board manufacturing company, Vina Eco Board Co., Ltd. (VECO), in Vietnam


・Acquisition of a cabinet manufacturing and sales company in the United States, Canyon Creek Cabinet Company

・Start of the operation of Kawasaki Biomass Power Plant


・Made an agreement for post-disaster reconstruction with Higashimatsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

・Launched an environment-controlled seedling production facility at the Wood Products Togo Tree Breeding Center in Hyuga City, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan


・Launch of biomass power generation business in Mombetsu City, Hokkaido, Japan

・Acquisition of equity interests from a housing business company, Bloomfield Homes, in Texas, the United States

・“S-type vibration damper” developed by Sumitomo Forestry Home Tech Co., Ltd


・Equity participation in biomass power generation business in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture, Japan

・Equity participation in wood biomass power generation business in Tomakomai City, Hokkaido, Japan

・Full-scale launch of “Estate Design Project”

・Acquisition of equity interests from a housing business company, Gehan Homes, LTD., in Texas, the United States


Released a new product “konoka” based on the Women’s Perspective Project


Purchase of approx. 30,000 hectares of timberlands in New Zealand. With this purchase, the area of timberlands owned by Sumitomo Forestry Group in this region became approx. 36,000 hectares.


Start of development of Elegano Nishinomiya, a service-added home for the elderly of the largest scale in Japan


Released the research and technology development concept “W350 Plan”