The SHOWA Story

SHOWA Glove’s story began over 60 years ago during the war in Manchuria, where Akeo Tanaka saw his comrades lose fingers to frostbite despite wearing rabbit-skin gloves.

In 1953, when he was working in a factory manufacturing PVC ink cartridges, Tanaka noticed that the industrial work gloves at the time were strong, but not functional, reminding him of his comrades and their gloves. He had the ingenious idea of developing a glove prototype using PVC – then the “material of the future”.

He designed the first PVC glove for safety and practicality: thick on the palm and fingertips with a thinner cuff for easy donning and doffing. Due to tactility in finger movement and durability of the glove, it gained popularity in marine use, industrial sectors, and the fisherman’s trade (today, SHOWA 660 dominates this market).

With this development, Tanaka founded, developing even more gloves with innovation and a commitment to creating gloves that perform better. This led to SHOWA Glove setting various industry milestones and engraving the SHOWA brand as a market leader.

Due to rapid automation in the 1970’s, the PVC industrial glove hit a turning point. Precision work became the main purpose of working gloves so new products were required to offer precise finger movement, while maintaining its strength and durability. Moreover, the seam inside the glove was causing discomfort for many customers. In response to this, SHOWA developed the SHOWA 610 with a seamless, comfortable inner liner. This was SHOWA’s first patent-protected product, which gave nearly 20 years of exclusive rights to sell and thrust the company into a prosperous future.

Further improvements were made upon the PVC glove design over the years, and due to rapid automation in the 1970s, there was a need to improve the precision of finger movement while maintaining strength, durability, and comfort. To answer this need, SHOWA developed the SHOWA 610, a supple glove with a seamless, comfortable inner liner. This was SHOWA’s first patent-protected product, and with the exclusive rights to sell, they well into building a prosperous future.

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