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MAY 2005 375

In Memory

Masao Horio
Horio Symposium
On the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Masao Horio, the
founder of modern fiber science in Japan (1905–1996), we will be holding
the Horio Symposium at Kyoto (Kyodai-Kaikan) on July 9, 2005. Taking
this opportunity we will, from the historical viewpoint of science and
technology, look back and re-evaluate his contributions in establishing the
modern man-made fiber science and in developing new productive pro-
cesses for viscose rayon and chemical pulp, which were the main industries
in Japan in those days. As a collaborator of Professor Horio, I am honored
to announce this symposium in this Journal in which he had published his
main important research works.
Masao Horio graduated from Kyoto Imperial University, Department of
Industrial Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering in 1928, and he received his
doctoral degree on photochemistry in 1934. He then joined the Kurashiki-
Kensyoku Company where he worked for 3 years. His academic career
started in 1938, when he was appointed Assistant Professor at the Faculty
of Engineering, Kyoto Imperial University. In 1941 he was appointed
Professor and served for 30 years until his obligatory retirement. He held
a number of key positions such as the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering,
Kyoto University and the Director of the Institute for Chemical Research,
attached to Kyoto University. After his retirement he worked as a leader in
the science community, and served as President of the Chemical Society of
Japan, President of the Society of Fiber Science and Technology, Japan,
President of the Society of Rheology, Japan, etc. As a result of his

Textile Res. J. 75(5), 375–376 (2005) DOI: 10.1177/0040517505055134 © 2005 Sage Publications

extensive contribution to higher education, science and industry, he re-
ceived several national prizes.
Professor Gen-itsu Kita, Horio’s teacher, founded the basis of the
Department of Industrial Chemistry. Kita advocated an extraordinary idea
for the prosperity of the Department of Industrial Chemistry, which em-
phasized the importance of mastering basic science as well as of introduc-
ing a pilot plant in applied science. Professor Kita handed over to Professor
Horio two research projects on viscose rayon and chemical pulp, and Horio
then pursued research on viscose rayon in collaboration with Keinosuke
Kobayashi and Takashi Kondo and on chemical pulp with Yusaku Fukuda.
The viscose rayon industry in Japan started in 1913 after Europe and
became the greatest producer in the world after 25 years. After severe
damage in World War II, the industry made a quick recovery. Horio’s
distinguished papers on the stretch spinning process with two baths pre-
sented in 1939 and 1943 played a definitive role in solving two important
technical problems in the viscose rayon industry at that time: one was the
remarkable enhancement of rayon tenacity, especially in a wet condition
and the other was the breakthrough in how to give wool-like crimping to
the rayon fibers. Soon afterwards this result was applied by Takehiko Suda
in the Kita group to establish the condition for producing crimped fibers,
then followed by a success in mass production of crimped fibers, attained
by the enterprise. Horio published several important papers on viscose
rayon and wool in the Textile Research Journal (1947, 1953) concerning
the coagulation mechanism of viscose rayon, skin-formation mechanism
during the spinning, and crimping mechanism of viscose rayon and wool:
In particular, the work with Takashi Kondo on the finding of bilateral
structure of wool won a high reputation.
In the field of chemical pulp in the 1940s, the sulfite pulp process from
softwoods was usual in Japan, but an abundant resource of hardwoods had
not been utilized for producing pulps. Horio in collaboration with Fukuda
invented a new method of two-stage prehydrolysis kraft cooking which
could be applied to hardwoods as well as softwoods and they succeeded in
producing a bleached dissolving kraft pulp even from hardwoods in 1944.
Professor Horio had many close friends in the field of man-made fibers
and polymer science throughout the world, among them Professor Herman
Mark of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. A well-known episode is
Professor Mark’s presentation in 1962 to the Showa Emperor of the
experiment of continuous spinning of nylon filaments with interfacial
polymerization, which was planned and arranged with great endeavor by
Professor Horio.
Emeritus Professor of Kyoto University