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History : Digest

Timeline

1899-

1899

Shinjiro Torii founds Torii Shoten
and starts production and sales of wine.

The frontier spirit that popularized
western-style liquors in Japan

Shinjiro sets out to create western-style liquors to suit Japanese palates.

Shinjiro Torii (1879-1962)

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1907

Launch of Akadama Port Wine*
*renamed to Akadama Sweet Wine in 1973

A pioneering new product

Akadama Port Wine becomes the foundation stone of Suntory.

1923

The challenge of creating
an original Japanese whisky

Kotobukiya* sets out to create
an authentic whisky born from the Japanese climate
and suited to Japanese palates.

*Kotobukiya Limited founded in 1921.

Construction of the Yamazaki Distillery in 1923.

Japan's first malt whisky distillery

1929: Launch of Japan's first
authentic whisky, Suntory Whisky
Shirofuda (white label).

1937

Launch of Suntory Whisky
Kakubin (square bottle)

A truly Japanese whisky
is born.

The distinctive Japanese character
that Shinjiro was searching for

1960s-

1961

Suntory Museum of Art opened

Giving something back to society
through social contribution activities

Social contribution activities began with the Hojukai
(social welfare organization),
established in 1921.

Keizo Saji becomes
2nd president (1961).

Keizo Saji (1919 - 1999)

1963

Launch of Suntory Beer

Aiming to make Kotobukiya an ambitious company
that strives for continual growth,
Keizo Saji takes up the challenge of moving
into the brewing business.

Company name changes from Kotobukiya
to Suntory Limited.

1973

Hakushu Distillery established.
It located in the foothills of Mt. Kaikomagatake
in Japan’s Southern Alps, where cool, clear waters flow
through a bountiful forest environment.

Hakushu Distillery in 2010.

©
illustrated by
Masayuki
Yabuuchi

Save the Birds campaign begins.

Bird sanctuary opens in the distillery grounds.
Launch of Save the Birds activities under the slogan
"Today Birds, Tomorrow Humans," the starting point
of a policy of preserving the natural environment
and biodiversity.

Watch the video (7min)

1980s-

1983

Suntory begins managing
Château Lagrange (Bordeaux,France).

Partnership with one of the world's
leading wine brands aims
to stimulate demand for wine and
promote wine culture in Japan.

Suntory revitalizes Château Lagrange with an emphasis
on quality and revives a famous wine.

1986

Suntory Hall opens.

Suntory steps up its contribution to cultural life
in the belief that businesses should put some
of their profits back into society.

The hall with its "vineyard" seating arrangement,
called a "jewel box of sound" by Herbert von Karajan,
comes to play a key role in classical music in Japan.

1990s-

Shinichiro Torii becomes
3rd president (1990).

Shinichiro Torii (1938 - 2004)

Suntory sets out to become
Japan's leading food
and beverage company.

In the 1990s, the food & beverage business that started in 1972 goes on to launch many
new products and expands its share of the soft drinks market.

1996

SesaminE supplement launched

Harnessing Nature's bounty
to support human health:

Research on polyphenols leads to the establishment
of Suntory's healthfoods business.

2000s-

Nobutada Saji becomes
4th president (2001).

Nobutada Saji (1945~)

2003

Launch of Natural Water Sanctuary Project

In line with the corporate mission statement

"In Harmony
with People and Nature",

Suntory promotes ecological business management as the duty
of any company that depends on Nature's bounty.

Let us look 10 or 100 years ahead and make
a commitment for all time.
Let us nurture forests that will renew greater quantities
of water than our factories use.

Launch of Mizuiku (2004),
Suntory's Natural Water Education Program.

Let us preserve our most
important resource
for future generations.
Let us think of our children.

Suntory develops new businesses
based on fundamental technology
research, and in 2004 develops the
world's first blue rose,
until then considered impossible
to create.

New corporate logo adopted in 2005.The motif behind corporate logo
of Suntory is water, an indispensable resource that underpins all that
we do at Suntory. The shape of the letters is an image of water
constantly moving freely, unhindered and continuously develops and
grows. The font color used is fresh "water blue," a color that strongly
resembles fresh water. It symbolizes our thought of always being fresh,
free and flexible like water, that gently flow and circulate the Earth.

2005

The Premium Malt's wins Japan's first Grand Gold Medal*
for the beer category at the Monde Selection in 2005,
and continues to win this prestigious Medal
for three consecutive years.

*Award won by medium-sized bottle

Praised for outstanding brewing technology and high quality.

Aiming for further growth worldwide

Suntory acquires the Frucor Group,
and the Orangina Schweppes Group in 2009.
Lucozade Ribena Suntory Limited established in 2013.

2013

Suntory Beverage & Food Limited is listed
on the first section
of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Nobuhiro Torii, President of Suntory
Beverage & Food Ltd.

2014

Beam Suntory Inc.
established.

Matt Shattock, Chairman, CEO of Beam Suntory Inc.
and president Saji in May, 2014

Birth of the world's 3rd largest*
premium spirits company

*Estimate based on IWSR data

Takeshi Niinami becomes
5th president (2014).

Takeshi Niinami (1959~)

2016

New Corporate Tagline
「Follow Your Nature」adopted in 2016.

Key phrases that represent Shinjiro Torii

A lifelong dream

Japan was importing wines and whiskies from distant countries across the sea, but Shinjiro Torii dreamed of making them himself, some day.
His lifelong dream was to make products as good as the best wines and whiskies he knew, and to surpass them.

Innovation

Everything Shinjiro set out to do was new to Japan.
He introduced wine to ordinary Japanese people who had never tasted it; he taught people who had never heard of whisky how to drink it.
He took the spirit of craftsmanship and made it a way of life.

Untiring efforts

Shinjiro had the dreams and pride of a true craftsman, and dedicated his life to creating good products, working untiringly and sparing no effort to improve their quality.

"You can advertise as much as you like, but it's no good if you don't have a good product.

You can't be confident in advertising it, and if your customers start to say you're all talk, it's over.

You have to start by making a really good product."

※Reference: Bishu Ichidai: Torii Shinjiro Den (= "One Generation of Excellent Whisky: Shinjiro Torii's Story")

He was not content to be simply a tradesman, producing whisky to make a profit, but strove all his life to make a contribution to society.

A warm personality

Shinjiro was a demanding employer, insisting that his workers strive constantly to improve their skills and capabilities, but many anecdotes record how his kind and fatherly attitude could sometimes bring tears of joy to their eyes.
To make sure that he did not let his achievements go to his head, and that he never lost sight of his original ideals, Shinjiro encouraged his employees to call him Taisho (boss) rather than Shacho (president).