LULU, the most famous cold medicine in Japan


Most people in Japan think of LULU when they hear the words household remedy. For nearly 60 years after it first went on sale in 1951, LULU has been enjoyed by the Japanese as a familiar cold remedy. Besides its effectiveness, LULU was also created taking user-friendliness and packaging into account. LULU tablets were thus sugar-coated and put in a clear bottle. There was no other cold remedy like it at that time. So, let’s take a look at the history of the ever-evolving LULU.


I’m catching a cold?

Take some LULU and go to bed early.

Sankyo Co., Ltd.

While doing research in America, Jokichi Takamine (40) discovered a powerful digestive enzyme “Taka-Diastase.”

Working as a dealer in silk goods in Yokohama, Matasaku Shiobara (20) asked his friend Shotaro Nishimura (33) to obtain the right to sell Taka-Diastase in Japan. Nishimura traveled to America and received permission from Dr. Takamine.

Please, with your permission.

Shiobara (22), Nishimura (34) and Genjiro Fukui (24) jointly established Sankyo Shoten.

“Sankyo” is because three people are making a joint contribution.

Shiobara was asked to be the company president.

Lacking a sales network for medicine, Shiobara took the plunge and traveled around the country visiting the various pharmacies trying to sell Taka-Diastase.

It’s good medicine.

After actively increasing their advertising, sales gradually began to rise.

This is a new digestive medicine manufactured by Parke-Davis of America.

Next, the company also began to handle “Adrenaline” that was developed by Jokichi Takamine. The company’s headquarters moved to Tokyo’s Nihonbashi.

Taisho period
When medicines became in short supply during the Taisho period (1912-1926), Sankyo Co., Ltd. began the domestic production of various medicines. In this way, Sankyo grew into a major pharmaceutical company.

Showa period and after the war
Taka-Diastase, being wanted, was revived.

I want to develop more nonprescription medicines.

Manpei Suzuki, Company President fourth generation

Cold remedies are hard for children to take and are only available as okigusuri (medicine kept at home and periodically supplemented by vendors).

I want to create a cold remedy that anyone can easily take and whose effectiveness is superior.


Let’s combine antihistamines which are highly effective in suppressing cold symptoms.

For the main ingredients, let’s use components taking safety into consideration and let’s also include an antipyretic.

Let’s use sugar-coated tablets to make it easy to take.

Let’s also make the tablets bright red.

This cold remedy is fantastic.

We need a new name.

In English, lull refers to the storm dying down.*

LULU went on sale.

Take three tablets for colds this year.

LULU is popular, but I’d like a more effective catch phrase.

Doctor, what is an early indicator of an oncoming cold that is easy to understand?

Well, probably sneezing.

TV commercials that combined both a memorable catch phrase and popular female personality became extremely popular. Sales grew rapidly.

Three sneezes, three LULU (tablets)

This year, Kyoryoku LULU (extra strength LULU) with improved ingredients made its appearance.

With Kyoryoku LULU Ace, the color of the tablet was changed to white. Kyoryoku LULU Gold also made its appearance.

For colds, it’s LULU!

From early on, Sankyo had been a sponsor of a number of programs on commercial television. Through frequent exposure on TV programs, LULU became a familiar cold remedy for many households.

Cold Remedy Manufacturing Approval Standards were established. Manufacturers had to develop medicines that met these standards.

I want to develop a LULU that is much more effective.

Shin (new) LULU A developed based on these standards became the indisputable favorite comprehensive cold remedy.

Although LULU is enjoyed by all people from children to the elderly, there is a desire by some people for a cold remedy that is more effective for adults.

We should have a cold remedy for personal use.

Daiichi Sankyo Health Care was born.

LULU Attack EX made its appearance.

Unlike before, LULU Attack EX had a completely new image with its blue packaging.

I’ll take LULU and get better quickly.

*Lull has its roots in Latin and has various meanings such as easing pain or relieving anxiety.

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