Our History and our 90-year Unwavering BeliefHistory of
Early Days of
- The Establishment of Tenjindō
(drug store) in Hongo
(currently in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo)
With the concerning state of hygiene during the outbreak of the Spanish Flu,
Tenjindō manufactured and sold hair removal products and teeth whitening agents.
Usage instruction of Hair Removal Product
Mr. Masakichi Kubo, the first Utena president, developed and launched Whitening Liquid “UTENA”. It was distributed by mail order through a ladies' magazine, "Shufu-no tomo", establishing the foundations for Utena’s businesses.
Mr. Masakichi once heard an interesting sharing from a friend working at a rubber factory: stains on his hands could be removed after a touch with rubber. This anecdote inspired him to create a whitening liquid which can brighten up skin tone.
Utena’s 1st President -
Mr. Masakichi Kubo
Mail order advertisement
Continuous launch of
Established "Kubo Masakichi Shoten" in Hongo
(currently in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo). Commencement of manufacturing
facility at Minami-karasuyama, Setagaya-ku.
Mr. Masakichi Kubo proclaimed, “Cosmetics are applied directly to your face so products must
be produced at a clean environment.” A clean water source is essential as well, so
Minami-Karasuyama was chosen as the site for the new manufacturing facility.
The launch of 3 popular Face Creams
3 popular Face Creams were launched: Vanishing Cream (known as Snow), Hygienic Cream (known as Moon) and Cold Cream (known as Flower). With each cream’s unique characteristics as well as the use of snow, moon and flower as their representations, this product line was popular amongst women. Even the Japanese Queen received it as a gift.
Kubo Masakichi Shoten (Store)
Utena Vanishing Cream (Snow)
Launched large scale marketing and promotion campaigns
A combination of exclusive endorsements by popular stage and
musical actresses, Yaeko Mizutani and Fumiko Yamaji, and
appearances as sponsors for movies and musicals, encouraged
a strong reputation for Utena’s latest products.
Tokyo Asahi Shimbun (Newspaper) on 2nd June 1934
Officially renamed company name to
"Utena Honpo Kubo Masakichi Shoten"
and became incorporated.
Collaboration with popular
illustrators for promotion campaign
Female portraits by Seiji Tōgō and Hisara Tanaka were used.
“Utena Ways to Beauty” Booklet
was illustrated by Hisara Tanaka
“Utena Vanishing Cream”
packaging designed by Seiji Tōgō
The period of World War Ⅱ
A return to cosmetics roots
Mr. Masakichi encouraged his staff to refocus their efforts on production, and to never sacrifice product quality despite the difficult limitations on resources.
Development of innovative products,
catered to its users’ needs
Mr. Norimasa Kubo was installed as the
2nd President and renamed the company
name to “Utena Co., Ltd." in 1950.
The first president Mr. Masakichi Kubo passed away, Still at the age of 22,
then-student Mr. Norimasa Kubo was installed as president after him.
Mr. Norimasa Kubo
The launch of Utena Milk Cream
Launched Utena Milk Cream, which eventually became one of the most representative products after the war. This was enabled by the introduction of innovation into the manufacturing facility. By allowing the use of ultrafine particles emulsification technology, adding milk extracts into cream.
utena Milk Cream
The Launch of Utena Men's Cream
Launched Japan's first beauty product dedicated to men: “Utena Men's Cream”. This created a great demand in the market and thus high praise followed. At the same time, Utena also launched “Utena Fashion Milk”, a multi-function lotion, catering to females from all walks of life.
Utena Fashion Milk
Utena Cosmetics Commercial
The Launch of Utena Kid’s
Launched Japan's first beauty product dedicated for children. This was developed in response to a concerned kindergarten teacher, asking for a skincare product which can prevent moisture loss but also protective of children’s sensitive skin for outdoor activities.
Utena Kid’s Cream
Utena Kid’s Cream Commercial
Birth of Utena’s best-selling
The Launch of Utena Moisture
A natural skin care series derived from aloe extract
To cater to the call for “natural” skincare, the Utena Moisture Series was developed. Its white packaging has garnered positive feedback and remained a best selling series through the years.
Utena Moisture Series
Mr. Masayuki Kubo was installed as 3rd president.
To fulfil customers’ growing needs, an out-of-the-box mindset was needed to create some revolutionary products. This led to growing sales in pharmacies and beauty stores.
Mr. Masayuki Kubo
For keeping hair in place
For providing hair volume
hair care series
hair care series for unruly hair
PROQUALITE hair straightening product commercial
PROQUALITE hair care series commercial
The Launch of Lamuca series, which
contains collagen with anti-aging properties
The highly popular thick and rich toner
Lamuca anti-aging series
The Launch of Puresa face mask series
A highly anticipated foray into the competitive scene of face masks, a new series was released with different formulations for different skin needs.
PURESA face mask series
Mr. Tomofusa Iwakura was installed as 4th president.
Under the lead of Mr. Tomofusa Iwakura, with a view for healthier finances, a re-evaluation of the current resources have led to the conclusion that a business model which eliminates in-house manufacturing was better equipped for future growth.
Mr. Tomofusa Iwakura
The Launch of Yuzu-yu, a 100% plant extract,
additive-free hair oil for the scalp and hair.
For the launch of the Yuzu-yu series in 2016, Utena collaborated with Kitagawa village, Kochi county which is well known for its yuzu. Through this partnership from production to manufacturing, the economy for Kitagawa village was revitalised.
Yuzu-yu Hair Oil
Mr. Tomofusa Iwakura and the
Mayor of Kochi county
Yuzu field in Kochi county
The Launch of PREMIUM PURESA
Golden Jelly Mask Series
With a view to develop a complete range of products that targets a mass market, the luxury line Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask Series was launched. It was well-received not only in Japan, but also immensely popular with tourists. This Series led the charge in Utena’s market expansion into the Asian region.
PREMIUM PURESA Golden Jelly Mask Series
The opening of flagship store on the Chinese e-commerce
platform "T-mall Global" and the establishment of Utena (Shanghai) Cosmetics Co., Ltd.
Utena T-mall Flagship Store
Mr. Masanori Aosaki was installed
as 5th president.
Mr. Masanori Aosaki