Section 6. Postwar Arrangements and Labor Disputes
Item 1. Searching for New Business
Toyota Research Institute
The Toyota Research Institute (General Manager: Sasuke Toyoda, Deputy Manager: Takeo Chiku) was established in October 1945 with the aim of investigating new business. It was located in the No. 2 Dormitory (later known as the Seiwa Dormitory, currently adjacent to the new headquarters). On the assumption that the continuation of the automobile business was at risk due to the policies of the occupation forces, research proceeded into possible changes of direction, with a focus on areas other than automobiles, particularly food, clothing and housing-related areas, to help provide a stable livelihood for employees. Specifically, various types of biological and chemical research was undertaken in areas including the prototype production of artificial sweeteners, saccharin and dulcin, prototype production of fructose and syrup from Jerusalem artichokes, medicinal herb cultivation, prototype production of pharmaceutical drugs and soap, and the aqua farming of loach, as well as the trial manufacturing of layered dry cell batteries, Western tableware and high quality toys.
Later, when the continuation of the automotive business became possible, the Toyota Research Institute's activities were changed to concentrate on automotive-related research. A diverse range of research was undertaken in the fields of physics and chemistry, including gears, methods of noise measurement, machined surface testers, micro-wave drying methods, electrolytic polishing and thin pole batteries (small-size, large capacity batteries). For example, in the research on electrolytic polishing, a metal cutting and polishing method combining mechanical cutting or machining with electrolytic polishing was invented and patented.1
In 1950, when the full-scale production of automobiles was underway, the Toyota Research Institute was absorbed into the main Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. research section.