Section 6. Postwar Arrangements and Labor Disputes
Item 1. Searching for New Business
As over two million houses were burnt down in air strikes during the Pacific War, Kiichiro Toyoda thought that housing construction would be an important task in post-war Japan. Moreover, due to fears of a shortage of wood materials because of the deforestation during the war, it was decided to apply industrialized building methods to concrete housing construction to develop purekon, or 'precast concrete' housing. Precast concrete involves the assembling of buildings on location from reinforced concrete components that have been manufactured beforehand in factories.
In March 1946, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. converted its Hirayama Glassworks1 to a precast concrete plant and commenced research on reinforced concrete components. When the research was translated into practical application, the plant was spun off to establish Yutaka Purekon Co., Ltd. on June 7, 1950.2 The company's capital was 24 million yen and Sasuke Toyoda was appointed as its president. In May 1954, it received a commendation from the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation for the development of precast concrete housing technology.
Yutaka Purekon was later renamed Toyoda Concrete Co., Ltd., then Toyota Soken Co., Ltd., and is currently Toyota T&S Construction Co., Ltd. The concrete construction plan which commenced as a result of Kiichiro's ideas, was realized as the purekon (precast concrete) business, and has also borne fruit as the prefabricated housing used in the Toyota Home business.