MOGU History

The entire Mogu phenomenon started with a tiny powder bead. That little bead launched an international lifestyle products and entertainment company. Here’s how it happened.

The secret to Mogu’s totally unique touch-sensation lies in the first-ever pairing of tiny Powder Beads with a pliable, supple material covering. This remarkable combination was the fortuitous discovery of Yoshinobu Ishida, the young president of Ebisukasei Inc., a humanitarian and environmentally conscious manufacturing company in Osaka, Japan.

Mr. Ishida struck upon the idea for this new material while exploring ways to recycle the tiny beads left over from making bicycle helmets. It was the year 2000, and the economic bubble had recently burst in Japan. Mr. Ishida was trying desperately to sustain his company — one his father had founded — and protect the livelihoods of his family and his employees. Walking through the manufacturing facility one evening, Mr. Ishida scooped up a pile of these tiny Powder Beads and wrapped them in a soft cotton fabric. The feeling, or touch-sensation, of this new material was absolutely amazing! Mr. Ishida quickly put it to use in a new product called the Pom-Pom Cushion. By 2001, this simple, but magical-feeling cushion became a mega-success in Japan, with one store selling more than 300 in a single day!

Inspired by the mania for Pom-Pom Cushions, Mr. Ishida turned to the latest in swimwear technology to find a better, more versatile cover for his tiny Powder Beads. He tinkered with the density and size of the Beads. The result felt even more astonishing! Using a pliable, two-way material covering similar to bathing suit fabric, Mr. Ishida created a totally unique, joy-inducing line of toys and home interior products. He called this new division of his company Mogu. In the first nine months of 2002, its success took Mr. Ishida’s company from $10 million to $50 million in sales. Mogu’s wild success rescued Mr. Ishida’s company and secured the futures of his family and his employees.

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