Cute and stylish handmade balloons are very popular among children and adults!

Nowadays, mechanization in global manufacturing progresses, and various products around us are mass-produced by machinery.
Meanwhile, I received information that there is a balloon company that still makes balloons by hand. Every balloon that the company produces are unique and are not the typical type of balloon that everyone thinks of. Why do they make balloons by hand? Where does the idea come from?
To search for the secrets, I interviewed Mr. Saito, the Chief Executive Officer of Marusa Saito Gom Co., Ltd.

2017-01-13   Goods, Tokyo,

title_マルサ斉藤ゴム


【 CONTENTS 】

Anyone can enjoy balloon volleyball using Marusa balloons!

Yasuyuki Saito, Chief Executive Officer, Marusa Saito Gom Co., Ltd. He holds various positions in other companies.
Yasuyuki Saito, Chief Executive Officer, Marusa Saito Gom Co., Ltd.
He holds various positions in other companies.

Most balloons sold in Japan are manufactured in Southeast Asia. There are only two balloon factories left in Japan. Marusa Saito Gom is the only company that manufactures handmade balloons with methods that have not changed for over 60 years. I asked Mr. Saito about the secrets of handmade balloons and the manufacturing process.

Mr. Saito said “I was considering the possibility of balloons while the falling birthrate and aging society were advancing. I found Balloon volleyball originated in Kitakyushu city at such time. I saw that many people, including physically handicapped people, were enjoying volleyball regardless of age or gender. I knew balloons made them smile. The balloon is a product not only for children. It is a magical product that makes everyone smile over generations. I got new ideas for balloons when I threw away some of the ideas of the typical balloon, such as being inflated and round.”

Anyone can play with balloons and smile!
Anyone can play with balloons and smile!

The Marusa Balloon series are the products of free thought

Marusa Saito Gom developed various balloons with H Concept Corporation.
h concept Co., Ltd. (Japanese text only)

The Marusa Balloons are full of surprises and have a playful spirit; finger puppet balloons that aren’t inflated and animal shaped balloons. These balloons are very popular, even at overseas exhibitions.

If you paint it, you can make a unique balloon!
If you paint it, you can make a unique balloon!

There are cute balloons that stir up a woman’s heart, like ballerina shaped balloons, a baby shaped balloon, and stylish balloons with dripping patterns.

The fashionable balloons are good for parties and as interior decorations!
The fashionable balloons are good for parties and as interior decorations!

There is also a two-toned balloon and a Henshin(変身), or transforming balloon that changes color when you blow it up. These balloons touch the hearts of adults too.

A Two-tone balloon and a Henshin(変身) balloon
A Two-tone balloon and a Henshin(変身) balloon

You can find Marusa balloon’s online shopping here(Japanese text only)

【A store for Marusa balloon series】
Tokyo’s Tokyo Haneda
You can purchase Marusa balloons at many select shops all over Japan! Please contact Marusa Saito Gom for locations by e-mail.
info@maru-sa.co.jp

Marusa Saito Gom challenges the world with their balloons!

Marusa Saito Gom is expanding globally by using their business office in Thailand as a springboard.

The business office in Thailand
The business office in Thailand

Marusa Saito Gom has also been trying to manufacture new products developed with Taiwanese designers at a Japanese factory. Taiwanese designers who are not balloon craftsmen, have a different style than ordinary Japanese balloon designs. Their designs were used as new products for Marusa balloon Co., and were introduced at an exhibition in Taiwan. These balloons got a great response.

The exhibition in Taiwan and a meeting with Taiwanese designers.
The exhibition in Taiwan and a meeting with Taiwanese designers.

For promoting global expansion, Marusa Saito Gom accepted an intern from the Philippines. Mr.Saito aims at a system to deliver Japanese products to the people around the world by mutual stimulating through communication. As a result of this, Marusa Saito Gom established a new branch in the Philippines.

Joshua, the intern from the Philippines said, “Thanks to Marusa Saito Gom, I can experience Japanese culture and life style. I was impressed with the Japanese people’s attitude towards tackling their work. Through this experience, I learned to face work with sincerity. I would like to convey the passion for the quality of products that Japanese craftsmen have, to people in the Philippines!”

Joshua received a certificate after completing the 3-month internship.
Joshua received a certificate after completing the 3-month internship.

Mr. Saito said, “Balloons are dreamlike products that make people happy. I would like to expand the range of ideas for balloons and how to play with them many different ways. I want to set up balloon factories filled with Japanese Technology around the world and then, deliver Japanese products and services to the world.”

Marusa Saito Gom is facing issues in Japanese SME management, such as the impact of recession and a shortage of sincere human resources. This company has also expanded the possibilities of the balloon from a new perspective.
The manufacturing part is important to improve the quality, but it can’t increase the possibility of products with that alone.
We are now considering ways of showing products to the public and finding new value while grasping the needs of customers.
Mr. Saito said, “A good thing about handmade balloons is the fact that we can make them even if the number of orders we receive is small. We can make unique shaped balloons that cannot be found anywhere else.”
How about checking out fashionable Marusa balloons, a great match for interior decor and parties?

See the manufacturing process of handmade balloons and the craftsmen’s thoughts in my following article.
The search for the secret to making handmade balloons at Marusa Saito Gom Co. Ltd.!

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AUTHOR

koume

koume

Hi, I am Koume. I’m originally from Fukuoka and currently living in Tokyo. I have lived in Australia, the Philippines, and Cambodia for several years. Through my life abroad, I have rediscovered the beauty of Japan. I hope my articles will be a helpful resource for both Japanese and foreign visitors.

Information

Address 1-22-2 Kyojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
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Phone 03-3613-4156
Website http://www.maru-sa.co.jp/ (Japanese text only)