Sakichi Toyoda biography and quotes

Sakichi Toyoda - Toolshero

Sakichi Toyoda (1867 – 1930) was a Japanese inventor, industrialist and the founder of Toyota Industries Co., Ltd. Sakichi Toyoda revolutionized the textiles industry in Japan. He is sometimes called the Japanese Thomas Edison.

Founder of the 5 whys

He is also the founder of the 5 Whys problem analysis method and the 5S system, which are both very effective LEAN Manufacturing tools.

Sakichi Toyoda biography

When Sakichi Toyoda was twenty years old, he made the major decision to leave his village and travel to Tokyo. There he saw modern factories that made use of the very latest machinery. He became so fascinated with new technology that he developed a passion for machinery and engines.

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After he had returned to his village, he started studying familiar objects tin his immediate environment. He devoted himself to improving the hand loom, which looked cumbersome and was not easy to use.

He devoted his life to studying and developing textile assembly. After 30 years of hard work he completed the development of the Toyoda loom. The invention of the automatic loom led to the establishment of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd. in November 1926.

At the beginning of 1933, many teams were led by his son Kiichiro Toyoda, and from the division of the factory, which focused on the production of cars, Toyoda made products that were ahead of their time.

Machinery Type A was successfully completed in 1934. A year later this engine was used in the first prototype of their passenger cars, A1. Toyoda automotive division also produced a prototype of a truck. the G1 model.

In 1936 they launched their first passenger car, the Toyoda AA (still under the name Toyoda). This model was developed from prototype model A1, which was clearly meant to be a passenger car.

Sakichi Toyoda’s most famous invention was the automatic power loom in which he implemented the principle of Jidoka (autonomous automation).

The principle of Jidoka, which means that the machine stops itself when a problem occurs, later became a part of the Toyota Production System (TPS).

Sakichi Toyoda is also famous for development of the 5 Whys method: When a problem occurs, ask “why” five times in order to find the source of the problem, then put into place something to prevent the problem from recurring. This concept is used today as part of applying LEAN methodologies to solve problems, improve quality, and reduce costs.

Sakichi Toyoda died on October 30, 1930, at the age of 63.

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Famous quotes by Sakichi Toyoda

  1. “Workers are treasure of the factory. They are important to me.”
  2. “The more people use my inventions, the better the country will be.”
  3. “I’m not talented more than anybody else. I just put lots of efforts and researches.”
  4. “There is nothing that can’t be done. If you can’t make something, it’s because you haven’t tried hard enough.”

Publications and books

  • 1914. U.S. Patent No. 1,093,088. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


  1. Abilla, P. (2010). Shoulders of Giants: Sakichi Toyoda. Retrieved [15/10/2014] from
  2. Shirouzu, N. and Murphy, J. (2008). Toyota to Change Leader Amid Global Sales Slump. Wall Street Journal. December 24, 2008.
  3. Wikipedia (2014). Sakichi Toyoda. Retrieved [15/10/2014] from

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Vincent van Vliet
Article by:

Vincent van Vliet

Vincent van Vliet is co-founder and responsible for the content and release management. Together with the team Vincent sets the strategy and manages the content planning, go-to-market, customer experience and corporate development aspects of the company.


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