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Birth of a worldwide leader




 1918:  NTN's Founders
NTN's founders began research and manufacture of ball bearings at Nishizono Ironworks (Uchibori, Kuwana-cho, Kuwana-gun Mie Pref.)






Jiro Nishizono,
At Nishizono Ironworks


Noboru Niwa,
founder and first President


1922 : In 1922 a Swedish vessel carrying a cargo of bearings sank in Kobe harbour. The bearings were auctioned off by the insurance company and the successful bidder was Mr. Niwa. This turned out to be a bonanza, and allowed Mr. Niwa to purchase three foreign-made grinding machines. He installed them in the Nishizono Ironworks, asking Mr. Nishizono, a wizard of technology, to study bearing manufacturing technology. Their zeal and perseverance paid off and the first NTN bearings appeared on the market.


1923:  The NTN Brand Name is introduced
Nishizono Ironworks and Tomoe Trading Co. (Nishi-ku, Osaka) inaugurated joint manufacturer and sale of bearings under the brand name NTN. 

    In front of Tomoe Trading Co. (1935)


The letters in our company name originated from the initials of our founding members:    

  • N for Noboru Niwa, the man who first invested capital
  • T for Tomoe Trading Co., the company run by Mr. Niwa that was responsible for sales,
  • and N for Jiro Nishizono, a skilled engineer.  


The Iwata Works Plant at the origine

Until 1960 :  Development of NTN bearings production capacity in Japan: plant establishments, quality in production



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