Mikasa Sports: A Century of Innovation

Established in 1917, Mikasa Sports Japan stands as a beacon of excellence in sports equipment manufacturing. Celebrated for its precision-engineered volleyballs and water polo balls, Mikasa has become synonymous with quality and innovation. As we trace the company’s evolution, we uncover a timeline marked by dedication and a passion for sports that transcends borders. Discover the pivotal moments that have shaped Mikasa’s journey to becoming a global icon.

ESTABLISHED 01 05 1917
HOMETOWN Hiroshima

Mikasa’s journey

1917 Hiroshima Gomu Corporation is established in Hiroshima by the founder Masutaro Masuda.

Manufacturing and sales of rubber products, such as rubber flip-flops.
1928 Nobori Gomu Industries invents the first air injection dodgeball in Japan.
1932 Nobori Gomu Industries develops the integrally molded athletic ball. These balls are sold under the name of the 'all-powerful ball' and are received well. This serves as the predecessor to the hollow ball in Japan.
1935 Sales begin under the trade name 'Mikasa Balls'.
1936 Nobori Gomu Industries invents a method of heating a rubber inner bag by attaching a valve and inserting compressed air and produces these products.

An application is submitted for a patent.
1937 Hiroshima Gomu Corporation changes its company name to Masuda Gomu Industries.

Manufacturing and sales of puncture proof tires for bicycle sidecars.

1940 There is a notification that the trade name of 'Mikasa Balls' can no longer be used because it is disrespectful to the Emperor, and the name is changed to 'Daitoa'.
1941 Masuda Gomu Industries and Nobori Gomu Industries are integrated to newly form Masuda Gomu Corporation.
1942 Due to the corporate regulation law, there is a merger with Marusan Gomu Industries.
1943 Due to the worsening conditions of the war, all factories that manufacture rubber sports equipment are shut down.
1945 The offices and factories are completely burnt down by the atomic bomb.
1946 The factories are rebuilt and resume operations.

Production begins for rubber sports balls under the instruction of the occupation army.

The Ministry of Education places an emphasis on dodgeball to promote athletic activity in elementary school, and our company’s dodgeballs spread throughout the company.

Yutaka Terada takes the position of President.
1949 A structure involving two gourds for the inner bag, cotton reinforcement, and rubber on the outer later is invented and erves as the basis for balls after the war.
1950 The company name is changed to Myojo Gomu Industries. Sales resume with the trade name of 'Mikasa Balls'.

Manufacturing and sales of volleyballs begin.
1955 Following the flow of high growth, the range of manufacturing expands to industrial and lifestyle rubber products.

1958 Minoru Nobori takes the position of President.
1959 The factories are expanded, and the industrial product department is enhanced.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry provides JIS certification for official stamps.

The factory started selling sponge softballs.
1960 Kunishi Okita takes the position of President.

Development of a thread wound ball aiming for ultimate roundness intensifies.
1962 A sales contract in Japan with Walt Disney Productions (presently the Walt Disney Company) is concluded.

Incentive trips on airplanes, which were rare at the time, are carried out.
1964 Mikasa volleyballs are used at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Japanese women’s volleyball team (the Witches of the Orient) led by coach Daimatsu wins the gold medal. There is an unprecedented volleyball fad, as the TV drama 'Sign wa V' is very popular, and the manga 'Attack No. 1' was a big hit during the previous year.

1970 Orders from the United States for OEM production of rubber balls increases from this year throughout the 70s.

At the same time, effort is being put in for the development of the Mikasa brand in overseas market as a result of the conclusion of a contract with the FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball) and other factors.

1998 Mikasa’s colored volleyballs are adopted as the official match ball for the Volleyball World Championship.

Since then, colored volleyballs continue to be used at tournaments hosted by FIVB and come to be known as the representation of Mikasa balls.

The Mikasa Association for Sports Promotion is established.
1999 Ball factories in Thailand are built and start operation.
2001 The company name is changed to Mikasa Corporation
2003 Taketoshi Saeki takes the position of President.
2008 Innovative design of 8-panels shaped, MVA200 is released
2012 Innovative design of 10-pane shaped beach volleyball, VLS300 is released
2013 Ball factories in Cambodia are built and start operation.
2014 Yuji Saeki takes the position of President.

The headquarters and factories are moved from Nishi, Hiroshima to Asakita, Hiroshima.
2017 100th year anniversary of founding.
2019 18-panel new design volleyball, V200W is released.
2021 Opening of European headquarters in Amstelveen, Netherlands
2022 10-panel new constructed beach volleyball, BV550C-WYBR