Industrialist, inventor, and founder of the Toyota Industries Co., Ltd., Sakichi Toyoda was born in 1867 in Japan as the first son of Ikichi and Ei Toyoda. From a young age, Sakichi began to help his father in his small carpentry trade. But whenever he had no work, he contemplated how he could be more useful to his country.
At 20, he made the life-altering decision of travelling to Tokyo. Seeing the modern factories there captivated him so much that he soon discovered a strong passion for machines. After 30 years of hard work, he invented the Toyoda loom. The invention of this automatic loom led to the establishment of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd. in November of 1926.
Sakichi Toyoda is also the original developer of the “5 Whys Analysis”. The five whys analysis is used to find out what the root cause of a problem is. The problem-solving journey starts with a precise formulation of what exactly is going on. Then by asking “why” 5 times, consequently, the root cause can be identified. This method is still used in LEAN manufacturing. Even after so many years, the practices of Sakichi Toyoda are assisting inventors, aspirants, and many others. His son, Kiichiro Toyoda, would later establish Japan’s largest automaker, Toyota.