All of the steps needed to realize the domestic production of rayon, from construction of the Shiga Plant to equipment design and the first spinning were carried out under the guidance of engineers invited from Europe. A team of 27 foreign engineers took part, led by Chief Engineer Antonio Minelli, of Italy. The first spinning of rayon occurred on August 16, 1927. At the time of our founding, Mitsui & Co. acted as a general agent and was in charge of all sales. The policy of the first manager of the Shiga Plant, Asahiko Karashima (later our second chairman) was that "the plant should be a place for the cultivation of human character." Inspired by this, Toray's employees absorbed the new technology from the visiting foreign engineers, immediately embarked on their own research, and worked to develop technology with the aim of reducing costs and giving birth to new products.
Kacho-zu (image of flowers and bird) embroidered with the first spun rayon yarn (made by the wife of the first chairman, Yunosuke Yasukawa, about 120 × 80 cm (height × width), still in place at the Toray Museum of Corporate History (Shiga))
Chief Engineer Antonio Minelli, of Italy
The first manager of the Shiga Plant, Asahiko Karashima (later our second chairman)