Sarome Co., Ltd. was founded in 1940 by Kunijiro SEGAWA. He was then one of the self-employed press operators subcontracting the sheet-metal work for toys and not engaged in the manufacturing of cigarette lighters.
Today, due to the lack of experienced workmen, the skill of forming tin plates for toys is regarded useful, though in those days sheet-metal pressing was one of the usual technical skills and the press operators for toys were not rated significantly high since toy dealers were predominant over manufacturers in the actual dealings. As Kunijiro SEGAWA dealt with various toys, he met with those like table lighters of today that feature a combination of car- or airplane-shaped toy made from tin plates and cigarette lighter. Inspired by this, he sometimes supplied to toy dealers those products assembled with an own processed tin-plate part and an externally procured cigarette lighter. Kunijiro then started to have a fascination for some imported cigarette lighters and then he decided to manufacture his own cigarette lighters.
Variety of petroleum cigarette lighters he successfully commercialized getting over various difficulties were then already named SAROME lighters. In 1955, Sarome Co., Ltd. started the production of gas lighters first in Japan. Worldwide, it was the second start of development following Ronson International Limited, which helped Sarome Co., Ltd. to gain a foothold to take the lead in the competitive development of gas lighters for a few decades since then as mentioned later.
Around 1960, the Company shifted the business line to the production of gas lighters of more elaborated design from that of petroleum lighters, and SAROME became a well-established brand for the made-in-Japan cigarette lighters both at home and abroad. The technical breakthrough following the gas lighters was the electronic lighters developed in 1966. The electronic lighters feature the innovative ignition system in which sparks are emitted simply by pushing a lever and the gas ejected through a nozzle catches on fire, which is quite a different ignition method from the classic ignition system of flint rotation.
The Company came to the development of battery cigarette lighter in 1974. The battery lighter is designed to emit sparks when the switch is pressed, thereby allowing immediate ignition, and thus it eliminates the need to firmly push a lever as required in typical electronic lighters. Sarome Co., Ltd. again made every possible effort to advertise the battery cigarette lighters and promote the sales worldwide. Four years later in 1978, the Company developed the I.C. cigarette lighter. This lighter features automatically emitted sparks for ignition in response to the sensor activated simply by hand-touch, for which an electrical circuit is contained in the lighter.
In 1986, Sarome Co., Ltd. successfully developed the jet-flame turbo cigarette lighter of catalytic ignition design, the world's first success providing wind-resistant flames. This was an epoch-making technical innovation that ensures automatic re-ignition by the heat retained in a platinum wire even if the initial flame goes out. The "SAROME TURBO" was such a great success worldwide that the world market share of electronic lighters was re-painted and then it finally became a new standard of cigarette lighters.
Sarome Co., Ltd. moved into Fujian Sheng Province in China in 1991 and set up an own-capitalized cigarette lighter plant to keep up with the changing times.
For the business operation in China, tie-up with Chinese cigarette lighter maker is still prevailing as a typical approach to help many trading companies to purchase the made-in-China products at lower prices and replace the made-in-Japan products. However, Sarome Co., Ltd. was earnest to train native Chinese cigarette lighter craftsmen in the actual place and then it dispatched a lot of Japanese workmen skilled in the SAROME cigarette lighters to the Chinese plant in order to directly guide young enthusiastic Chinese about the craftsmanship to make up cigarette lighters from the very first step, thereby realizing unique plant operation unprecedented in the industry. At the same time, Sarome Co., Ltd. devoted to enhance the development capabilities also domestically in Japan and positively introduced the latest NC cutting machines and CAD/CAM systems, thereby deciding on a policy that the Company proceeds development in Japan from the judgment that a few decades may be needed to raise skilled workmen in China even after setting up shop in China.
The cigarette lighters available presently in Japan come mostly from China, though the Japanese technological skills particular about the pressing and cutting techniques still remain very high even at present and in fact, Japan is supplying a lot of "only one" products worldwide. Thus Sarome Co., Ltd. is confident from the workmanship of cigarette lighters that the products made up by the Japanese workmen still surpass those manufactured in foreign countries. In addition, recently, also for the other products in addition to cigarette lighters, a fresh look has been taken at the made-in-Japan products made up by the technical skills of workmen in the Sumida and Katsushika districts. Looking at the market, the golden DC brand boom has come to an end, and such a trend is gradually growing again that appreciates the manufacturing of quality products remembering the original intention, and SAROME is also gaining a reputation again as a made-in-Japan cigarette lighter brand. Sarome Co., Ltd. is making every possible effort to supply the worldwide-accepted products independently of the trends of the times in accordance with a firm faith that we should carry on the manufacturing of quality products as advocated by the Company founder Kunijiro SEGAWA.