Why Zippers Have YKK On Them

Daven Hiskey 74
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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74 Comments »

  1. CityTrader January 8, 2010 at 8:15 pm - Reply

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

  2. skeev January 9, 2010 at 7:16 am - Reply

    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

  3. Johnny Sacksude! January 9, 2010 at 7:43 am - Reply

    Wow, that is so kewl! I had no idea

  4. simukti January 9, 2010 at 7:45 am - Reply

    yeahhh… Mr. Yoshida is on my zipper :)

  5. Bobby Dufrane January 9, 2010 at 11:20 am - Reply

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

  6. Cheap January 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    How many people have been up all night wondering about this

  7. ej January 9, 2010 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    riri zippers are better. Just saying…

  8. Medisoft January 9, 2010 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    VERY interesting, learned something new today!

  9. Richa January 10, 2010 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    really interesting :)

  10. fastner January 11, 2010 at 3:57 am - Reply

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

  11. Drock January 11, 2010 at 8:21 am - Reply

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

  12. Name Required January 14, 2010 at 12:54 am - Reply

    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.

  13. dila13 January 14, 2010 at 11:42 pm - Reply

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

  14. Innovative ideas January 15, 2010 at 3:13 am - Reply

    Wow! It’s amazaing

  15. Me January 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm - Reply

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

  16. Joshua Simeon Narins January 17, 2010 at 11:27 am - Reply

    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.

  17. DA February 22, 2010 at 8:17 am - Reply

    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.

  18. plates March 1, 2010 at 8:27 pm - Reply

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

  19. BUD TUGLY April 27, 2010 at 11:36 pm - Reply

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

  20. leonardshawn August 9, 2010 at 2:16 am - Reply

    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.

  21. Bob Bobson December 31, 2010 at 1:58 am - Reply

    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.

  22. TiffanEyes January 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm - Reply

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

  23. Bryant January 9, 2011 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    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.

  24. Claire Red January 23, 2011 at 11:32 pm - Reply

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

  25. Eden February 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    fantastic story … thanks

  26. plubble May 31, 2011 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha

    I can’t say that once fast..

  27. boon June 15, 2011 at 11:38 am - Reply

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

  28. nlconway October 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm - Reply

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

  29. George E premkumar February 11, 2012 at 6:31 am - Reply

    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

  30. J February 12, 2012 at 11:06 am - Reply

    @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!!!

  31. Jasper June 18, 2012 at 12:46 am - Reply

    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.

  32. Gary June 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    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.

  33. Gary June 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    @Name Required,

    You are full of poo.

  34. Soup4u August 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    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.

  35. highplainsdrifter August 11, 2012 at 11:00 am - Reply

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

  36. Elina November 8, 2012 at 8:32 am - Reply

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

  37. Elina November 8, 2012 at 8:35 am - Reply

    My history project is on zippers and this really helped!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!! :)

  38. eryk June 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm - Reply

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

  39. chas December 31, 2013 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Eh which Georgia was that ?

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