Why Zippers Have YKK On Them

ykk zipperToday I found out why zippers have a YKK on them.

The YKK stands for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha (say that five times fast).  In 1934 Tadao Yoshida founded Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha (translated Yoshida Industries Limited).  This company is now the world’s foremost zipper manufacturer, making about 90% of all zippers in over 206 facilities in 52 countries.  In fact, they not only make the zippers, they also make the machines that make the zippers; no word on if they make the machines that make the parts that make up the machines that make the zippers.

Their largest factory in Georgia makes over 7 million zippers per day.

In any event, Mr. Yoshida’s company zipped to number one by practicing the “Cycle of Goodness”, as he called it.  Namely, “No one prospers unless he renders benefit to others.”  Using this principle, he endeavored to create the best zippers out there that would hold up over long periods of time in the end product.  This in turn would benefit both the manufacturers who used his zippers and the end customer and because of these things benefit his company with higher repeat and referral sales, thus completing the “Cycle of Goodness” *zen moment*

So next time you’re zipping up, take a moment to remember Mr. Yoshida; also, if you’re going commando, careful with Captain Winky on the zip up.  I can’t stress that enough.

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  • YKK, – I’m ten years to late to make a Y-2K joke. Story of my life.

  • Mr Winky please…not everyone who goes commando is in the military.

    But I take your point…as does the zipper if you are not careful

  • Johnny Sacksude!

    Wow, that is so kewl! I had no idea

  • yeahhh… Mr. Yoshida is on my zipper 🙂

  • YKK, – I’m ten years to late to make a Y-2K joke. Story of my life.

  • How many people have been up all night wondering about this

  • riri zippers are better. Just saying…

  • VERY interesting, learned something new today!

  • really interesting 🙂

  • There are a lot of fake reproduction of pure YKK zippers on market unfortunately, while YKK keeps hight quality standard.

  • Interesting, I looked down and my hoodie zipper said…YKK

  • Good story but the true story comes from long ago when it was only “kk” on the zipper. As it turned out a manager ask an employee “why “kk” on the zipper?”. The employee, full of shame and remorse to have written is secret lover’s name (Kristin Kerkorian)changed it into a question “YKK”. Now we know “why” “KK” stand for. Thank you.

  • Yep.. and today i finally found out about this great mystery of all time! thanks for the info 🙂

  • Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe! I’ll go and read some more! What do you see the future of this being?

  • If I had to guess, the cycle of goodness idea was more of a Taoist thing than a Zen thing, but I could be wrong.

  • Better off w IDEAL Fasteners – http://www.idealfastener.com/
    IDEAL manufactures the top product in the industry. YKK has been around for a long time, but IDEAL Fasteners are truly unparalleled.

  • There is definitely more than meets the eye when it comes to zippers (at least now I know this).

  • It the south, they say KKK on them. How racist!

  • you seem to konw a lot about Chinese philosophy .i dont get it what does “cycle of goodness”to do with running a modern company?Mr yoshida sounds a nice guyanyway.

    Joshua Simeon Narins says:
    January 17, 2010 at 11:27 amIf I had to guess, the cycle of goodness idea was more of a Taoist thing than a Zen thing, but I could be wrong.

  • Oh snap! I just checked the zipper on my not-that-old sweater that broke a couple of weeks ago and it does NOT say YKK.

  • I love how i asked myself this question 2 days ago and stumbled the answer.

  • I’ve always known this.

    The factory is in Macon, Georgia. It’s about two miles away from where I lived when I was a kid. My uncle used to work there.

  • They don’t just make zippers, they also make door locks (though those are only sold in Japan)

  • fantastic story … thanks

  • Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha

    I can’t say that once fast..

  • my ykk zipper broke after only a few months. Fucking Japs!

  • I got a carhartt on and i looked down at the zipper and its got ykk on it

  • George E premkumar

    This site is superb.. I book mark it and will go through the volume of information available..thank you.. I am a geek of facts

  • @Cheap I know I have! countless hours in the wee night I have contemplated those 3 little letters…. I had come up with some rather perspicacious thoughts as to their meaning, but, alas!; to no avail!

    THAT IS!!! till TODAY!!!

  • One day i saw ykk written on my shorts i thought it is a branded short lets see anothes any branded phant i have ya ykk on it too i saw all my branded phants and shorts ykk,ykk,ykk,ykk…………
    I wondered i whispered to all i know if ur phant is branded u’ll have ykk on it they said ya ur intelligent.
    But collecting of branded clothes is very interesting for me. If i found a branded phant i see its brand immediately.

  • I always knew the letters stood for the company’s initials, and also knew they were the best branded zippers in the world as well, but never knew the story behind them. Thanks.

  • @Name Required,

    You are full of poo.

  • The kabushikigaisha (yes, that is a G, not a K in there, unlike what the article says) is actually closer to a western Corporation than a Limited Liability Company. Thus, YKK can be roughly translated to Yoshida Industries Corp.

  • highplainsdrifter

    i still say buttons are the way to go!! what ever happened to button fly levis??

  • Thank you for this info!!! I’m doing zippers for my history project and this really helped!!!!! Thank you soooooooooooooo much!!!!!! 🙂

  • My history project is on zippers and this really helped!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  • how many has been circumcised by a zipper,? I know I was ,

    • Ooh, ouch! Are you the inspiration for the incident in the movie “Something about Mary”? I think that’s close to the title, but it doesn’t sound quite right for some reason.

  • Eh which Georgia was that ?

  • why is it you can say YKK five times and fist, what will be your benefit.