1921 (Taisho 10 ) Thursday, November 3, Lotte founder Takeo Shigemitsu (신격호) was born in Ulsan County, South Gyeongsang Province (now Ulsan Metropolitan City). He was the eldest of five sons and five daughters.
In 1941 (Showa 16), with only 83 yen in his possession, he took the Sekigama ferry to Japan. Because it was during the war, I was in danger of being drafted, but I learned that an engineering major could avoid being drafted, so I gave up my original ambition for literature and majored in chemical industry. In 1944 (Showa 19), he graduated from Waseda Jitsugyo and established a cutting oil production factory, but it was destroyed by the Allied bombing.
After the end of the war, in May 1946 21, he established the “Hikari Special Chemistry Laboratory” in Ogikubo and began producing soap and pomade with great success. Inspired by chewing gum that was later brought to Japan by the Occupation Forces, the company started producing gum in the following year, 1947 (Showa 22) and changed its name from “Hikari Special Chemical Laboratory” to “Lotte.”. The name comes from Charlotte, the main character in Goethe’s The Trouble of Young Werther.
Following the success of its business in Japan and the normalization of relations between the two countries by the Japan-Korea Basic 40 Treaty in 1965, Lotte expanded its business into Korea in 1967 42 and built a Lotte Hotel modeled after the Imperial Hotel.
In 1969 44, the company became a sponsor of the Tokyo Orions, a professional baseball team run by Mainichi Daiei (Masaichi Nagata, Tamasaichi), and entered into a business alliance with the team, which was renamed the Lotte Orions. In the following year, 1970 (Showa 45), they won the Pacific League pennant.