Learning Library

Mikimoto (Kokichi)

Born in 1858 in Toba City, Japan, Mikimoto  was the eldest son of a family who ran a noodle  restaurant. When  he  was  29  he  began  raising  oysters and by 1895 he was awarded a patent for  his process of culturing Pearls.

For  30  years  he  worked  day  and  night  developing new techniques for culturing Pearls  and was admired in the jewellery industry for  his relentless efforts to get his technique widely  recognised and accepted.

On the 11th of July 1893, Mikimoto and his wife  reportedly cultivated five Akoya Pearls; the first  ever cultivated Pearls on the planet. “I would  like to adorn the necks of all the women of the  world  with  Pearls,”  said  Mikimoto.  However,  it  took  him  a  further  twelve  years  to  perfect  the technique and to create exquisite, spherical  Pearls. 

The winner of numerous awards and accolades,  Mikimoto died in 1954 at the age of 96; in his  honour, there is a huge statue erected on Pearl Island in Japan.

Back to Learning Library