Creating the world's finest pearls



“I would like to adorn the necks of all the women of the world with pearls.” – Kokichi Mikimoto’s dream lives on.

 

 


 

Globally renowned as the “King of Pearls”, Kokichi Mikimoto persevered through a series of rigorous trials and hardships before he successfully invented the method for culturing pearls – a method so unique it even amazed the legendary inventor, Thomas Edison.

Kokichi’s development of cultured pearls in the late 19th century brought Japanese jewellery to the attention of the world. An intrepid pioneer who was resolute in his pursuit of beauty, Kokichi Mikimoto devoted his entire life to pearls. Dedicated to the realization of our founder’s lifelong dream to adorn the necks of all the women of the world with pearls, MIKIMOTO makes it possible for people all over the world to experience the subtle elegance of pearls. January 25, 2013 marks the 120th anniversary of Mikimoto.

 

Success in culturing a semi-spherical pearl

 

In 1893, after years of setbacks, Kokichi Mikimoto with the support of his family and wife Ume succeeded in culturing a semi-spherical pearl. He had pledged himself to protect and raise stocks of Akoya pearl oysters, depleted at the time by over fishing, and to grow pearls with these oysters. Many long years were spent in what were, from the outset, trial-and-error experiments that were viewed with intense public scepticism. Only his family stood by him. Plagued by financial difficulties and repeated damage from red algae blooms, Mikimoto overcame the odds and at last succeededin culturing pearls on Ojima Island (now known as Mikimoto Pearl Island) at Toba. This was a defining moment, and marked the first time that pearls had been produced from an oyster through human intervention. This achievement also formed the foundation of today’s MIKIMOTO.