As a seventeen year old, Shojiro Ishibashi took over his family clothing business in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture in 1906. Shojiro's ambitious dream was to dedicate his life to contributing to the nation of Japan above and beyond the work of his family business. His list of accomplishments is impressive: including: specialization in tabi Japanese traditional socks, reform of the apprentice system, use of a standardized pricing system, creation of Jika-tabi (socks with rubber soles used as work shoes), development of the rubber shoe business and overseas production. Using the capital accumulated from Jika-tabi and the rubber shoe business, Shojiro decided to make tires, which was an industry that didn't exist in Japan at that time. He believed in the future of motorized transportation in Japan, and he was adamant about producing tires domestically.
Early History of Bridgestone Founder
A home-made sign hangs over the entrance to the “Shimaya” tabi store