A little earlier in the timeline, on 2 September 1924, Noboru Hayama was born in Tokyo as the child of a Japanese soldier. According to stories, Hayama was raised to be a sincere, diligent and curious person. 48 When the time came, he got his military diploma as 2nd Lieutenant. Hayama decided to enrol as a teacher at Nihon University.1 He was looking for a job to pay for his expenses and started as a printer in a print shop that was equipped with mimeographs. Because he wanted to do something useful for future generations, he decided that mimeography was the perfect way to start.
In 1946, he acquired his own mimeograph and started working from home in Setagaya, Tokyo. He decided that the word “ideal”,
(逤萭, japanese, ‘riso’)2, was a good name for the company. His company Riso-Sha was officially registered on [Editor’s note: which appears to be his 22nd birthday] 2 September 1946. In the early days, the whole Hayama family helped him. In 1948, he moved to a sales office in Nihonbashi, Tokyo’s business district. The company name was then changed to Riso Insatsusha (jap. 理想 印刷), meaning “ideal printing”. He soon gained recognition for his exceedingly accurate and high-quality print work. His orders came from clients in private companies, research institutions and government offices.
In March of 1952, he opened a print shop with electric typewriters and presses he had imported from England and began producing masters with printed characters rather than handwritten text for the perforation of the master foils.
The emulsion ink needed for stencil printing was only imported to Japan in small quantities and procuring consumables for daily work was extremely strenuous. On a courier trip to pick up new ink, Noboru Hayama was involved in a serious traffic accident that rendered him bedridden for several weeks. That’s when Hayama decided to develop his own ink to be more independent. 3