The Founder, Kokichi Mikimoto devoted his life to pearls and was called the Pearl King. In 1893, he etched his name in history when he successfully creating the world’s first cultured pearls. Ever since, his lifelong dream of “adorning the necks of all women around the world with pearls” has lived on through Mikimoto, a company that has dedicated itself to the pursuit of beauty for over a century.
Before the development of cultured pearls, only natural pearls were available, which were mere products of chance. Less than one in a thousand oyster shells may produce a pearl during their lifetime. Relentless in the pursuit of beauty, Kokichi Mikimoto decided to try culturing pearls that are loved by people all over the world. He was a dreamer and he did not let his dream die. He became the first in the world to successfully culture a semi-spherical pearl in 1893. He continued his attempt to culture many different types of pearls, including black and white South Sea cultured pearls in addition to perfectly round pearls, hence becoming the originator of cultured pearls.
From the earliest days of his company, Kokichi Mikimoto recognized the importance of jewellery design. Researchers were dispatched to the U.S. and Europe to study design and manufacturing techniques. The reference materials and actual pieces they brought back to Japan were used to train jewellery designers in cutting-edge Western design and manufacturing skills, laying the foundation for modern jewellery production in Japan. Kokichi Mikimoto spent decades developing new interpretations of traditional Japanese motifs for aesthetically pleasing pearl jewellery, skillfully blending traditional Japanese metalworking craftsmanship and European manufacturing techniques to create the distinctive Mikimoto style.