“The development of the technology which Rinnai is proud of also represents the history of the development of heat energy and lifestyles.”
One November day in 1918, Hidejiro Naito stood mesmerized in front of a shop making imagawayaki, a traditional Japanese bun usually filled with adzuki bean paste. He was intrigued by the blue flame that came from the imported oil-burning cooking stove used to cook the imagawayaki. Keen to try his hand at making a similar stove, Hidejiro convinced the shop owner to part with the stove. Using it as a model, Hidejiro subsequently developed a petroleum-fuelled stove, heralding the origin of the business we know today.
Two years later, in 1920, Hidejiro left his job at Nagoya Gas (currently Toho Gas Co., Ltd.). Together with Kanekichi Hayashi, a childhood friend who lived in the same dormitory, they established Rinnai & Co., the forerunner of today’s Rinnai Corporation. The company name was coined from characters in the two men’s last names (“Rin” is another way of reading “Hayashi“, and “Nai” comes from “Naito“).
Thus, began nearly a century of developing the latest heat-energy appliances. Over the years, Rinnai’s products slowly transformed Japanese lifestyles as the nation continued on its path to modernization. From its origins through to the present day, Rinnai has been guided by its Corporate Mission, which is “to use heat to provide society with comfortable lifestyles.” The ethos of contributing to society—evident in the early catalog for Rinnai’s original, petroleum-fuelled stove—has endured unchanged through to the present day.
Today, Rinnai’s vision hinges on the three themes of “heat and lifestyles,” “quality,” and “contributing to local communities.” As a comprehensive manufacturer of heat-energy appliances, Rinnai contributes to people’s lifestyles around the world and to the global environment. Despite all the changes to society and products that have taken place, Hidejiro’s pioneering spirit remains as unshakeable today as it was then.
Rinnai has created numerous innovation in the fields of hot water supply, kitchens, air-conditioning, and commercial-use appliances, and has contributed to the development of heat energy and lifestyles. Looking towards the future, we will continue to capture the essence of peoples’ diverse and changing lifestyles, creating heat energy appliances that will stand the test of time.