Japan’s three remaining glass bead manufacturers are selling their products globally. Their seed beads offer quality, colour and crystal-clear shine that’s unparalleled by manufacturers in other countries.

These companies are MATSUNO INDUSTRY CO., LTD. based in Osaka; TOHO CO., LTD. based in Hiroshima; and MIYUKI Co., Ltd. in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture. There are more than 20 processes involved in the production of glass beads. All three companies employ artisans to undertake each one in-house, from procuring raw materials to dissolution, dyeing and moulding.

As the trend for fierce cost-prioritisation continues, Japanese manufacturers, along with leading manufacturers from Europe, are gradually fading away as they fail to beat the low-price offensive of manufacturers from emerging countries. However, these three companies have succeeded in surviving the competition by focusing on new product development, and remaining committed to ensuring shine and uniformity in their glass beads.



Recently, all three companies have become more renowned overseas than in Japan. In Southeast Asia and the United States, where beads have become everyday staples, consumers are choosing beads from these three companies rather than low-priced beads. All three companies export 80% to 90% of their seed beads.

As stable quality and calls for safety and ease of mind gain importance across the world, Japanese beads have become greatly favoured, especially as the yen continues to depreciate.

All three companies sell seed beads as parts and have also begun to develop accessories in recent years, as well as developing their own in-house brands.

MATSUNO INDUSTRY CO., LTD. supplies beads to American beads brand Lily and Laura Bracelets, which is gaining popularity across the world and has sold more than 100,000 bracelets in Japan. The company has also established its own in-house brand that sells different lines of products.



TOHO CO., LTD. developed glass beads accessory company ico & co. two years ago. By developing a line of beads that look so luxurious they almost resemble real jewellery, the company has expanded its lines to include watches. MIYUKI Co., Ltd. developed FALBE three years ago and is engaging in full-scale commercialisation and sale of bracelets, necklaces and pin badges.

All three companies aim to spread glass-bead culture across the world through the expansion of their product lines, and continue to uphold the superiority of Japanese products.