Sunday, April 29, 2012

Japanese wrenches

Hozan (HKC) is a Japanese tool company based in Osaka which began in 1951.  On their website they state:
 “Our products are specially designed to meet with professional tool standard. Manufactured with human-logic in mind that will give a sense of joy and pride to the users."  

The reverse side of the same wrench looks like this:

Now, instead of Hozan: and "HKC", it says "NTK".  If you google this, it appears that this company made wrenches for Toyota and Nissan cars.  However, the only Japanese company I can find by this name is NTK out of Nagoya, which is a ceramics specialist and part of the NGK (Nihon Gaishi Kaisha) spark plug empire.  It seems unlikely that they would be making wrenches.  However, on their website they say, "At NTK Technologies, we do not make the products that you see everyday. However, our innovation helps to advance many of the technologies and products that improve people's lives."  And people say the Chinese are inscrutable!

Aigo is based in Sanjyo City, Niigata Prefecture.  It was founded by Gosaburo Aida as the Aida Iron Factory in 1928 to produce farm implements.  In 1940, it was converted to military production, but returned to farm machinery in 1945.  In 1960, the company changed its name to Aigo Kogyo Co. Ltd.  The company website includes:
Words from the President:  "Our company encourages each employee to be creative, having confidence and pride in themselves, and to have a fighting spirit, so as to offer products with originality. Our company hopes to continue to be 'a good company worth relying upon'."
Special Mention:   "We produced our first handtools 40 years ago and now our AIGO brand handtools are highly valued as the top-ranking products by our end users. We have been contributing greatly to society by producing metal products useful to various industries, with a high degree of technology, cultivated over many years."

Maybe it's just cant, but nevertheless you don't see these kinds of sentiments on American tool manufacturers' sites.

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