Our Journey

Origin of Our Name

There is a Russian proverb that says, "Even a burning flame starts from a single spark". We named the company "Iskra", the Russian word for "spark", with the hope that the company will start out small but eventually grow large.

The origin of our name is also expressed in our symbol, which is a small red dot spreading out into a large circle.

Origin of Our Name

Our First 30 Years First in Japan to import the live polio vaccine

In March 1960, our first president Shiro Ishikawa founded Iskra Industry Co., Ltd. as a trading company. It was a small company that placed the utmost value on friendship, starting out with just a single desk.
At the time of the company’s founding, Japan was in the grip of a nationwide outbreak of childhood paralysis, commonly known as polio. At that time, Shiro Ishikawa learned that the Soviet Union had a live vaccine to prevent polio and a medicine to treat the disease’s aftereffects. Trade with the Soviet Union, a socialist country, was unthinkable at the time. However, feeling a sense of mission to eradicate polio, Ishikawa worked tirelessly to get it done, succeeding in importing Japan’s first live vaccine and thereby helping eradicate polio.

“We’ll do ourselves what no one else will do.” This experience solidified what Iskra Industry stands for as a company.

Vaccine importation contract (Shiro Ishikawa is on the left side of the photo) Vaccine importation contract (Shiro Ishikawa is on the left side of the photo)

MarchIskra Industry Co., Ltd. is founded


March Enters into a contract with the Soviet Pharmaceutical Product Import & Export Corporation for the importation of Galantamine, a medicine to treat the aftereffects of polio

JulySecures a contract to import 3 million doses of live polio vaccine; Nissho imports 7 million doses

With Iskra Industry being particularly successful in the trade of pharmaceutical products, we began to expand our scope to include pharmaceutical products from China as well. In 1966, we began importing an athlete’s foot medicine made with oil extracted from a flower called the wintersweet, "Kada-kou" (today known as "Iskra Kada-kou Y"). This led to us increasing our focus on importing herbal medicines for trade with China the following year. However, pharmacies were largely unfamiliar with Chinese herbal medicine preparations, and very few carried them. In response to such reluctance, we opened our own specialty pharmacy, named Iskra Pharmacy, which incorporated Chinese medical theory, in order to sell Chinese medicines on our own. Over time, experts who wanted to see Chinese medicines take root in Japan gathered. Iskra Industry teamed up with the pharmacies and drugstores that shared their passion, and in 1987 formed the "Japan Association for Study of Chinese Traditional Medicines" as Japan’s first organization for conducting research and sales of Chinese medicines.


AprilBegins importing the athlete’s foot medicine "Kada-kou", the first Chinese medicine imported by the company


MayIskra Pharmacy opens in Nihonbashi, Tokyo


NovemberConstruction of a new office building (the current headquarters) in Nihonbashi, Tokyo is completed


December1985 Iskra Chinese Herbal Medicine Center opens in Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture


JanuaryJapan Association for Study of Chinese Traditional Medicines is established

Our Second 30 Years Expansion of our pharmaceutical business

With greater focus being placed on the Chinese medicine business, we developed and launched "Kangen Karyu" (today known as "Iskra Kangen Karyu" as a medicine to improve blood circulation.
This would go on to become a massively successful product that would define Iskra Industry. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the same year the product was launched, came as a great shock to Iskra Industry, as we had been working closely with the USSR since the very beginning. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, trade with Russia continued, starting to engage in local pharmaceutical product sales with Russia as a partner, and by expanding our Chinese medicine business during this period, we continue to lead the field of Chinese medicines in Japan to this day.
Present-day “Iskra Kangen Karyu” Present-day "Iskra Kangen Karyu"

MarchPharmaceutical product “Kangen Karyu” goes on sale


MarchIskra Chinese Herbal Medicine Product Center is relocated to Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture and expanded

Business in both the fields of trade and Chinese medicine continued to expand. In 2009, We established our own factory in China, Sichuan Huaxing Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, marking the completion of our first in-house production facility and becoming a base for the production and processing of Chinese medicines. The use of Chinese medicines expanded to animals in 2013 with the start of the "Pet Business" as a new field.


OctoberIskra Chinese Herbal Medicine Center in Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture is relocated to a new facility


JuneSichuan Huaxing Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Wenjiang Plant) is founded in Chengdu, China (operation begins the following year)


JanuaryStart of the Pet Business Division

Our Third 30 Years Looking to the Future

Striving to Become a Vibrant Company with a 100-Year History

The Future of Iskra Industry

  • 1. Sustainable Business Development

    Expanding our trading and Chinese medicinal healthcare businesses, using them to develop new businesses

  • 2. Human Resource Development

    Investing in skill development on the organizational and individual levels to create a dynamic organization
    Creating an organization that transcends nationality and gender and makes the most of one’s individuality and expertise

  • 3. Work Style Reforms

    Adopting a healthy work-life balance and flexible work styles to create a workplace where employees can work with peace of mind for a long time

With these three pillars, we aim to become a dynamic,
100-year company that continues to grow.