Giants in History: Kokichi Mikimoto

Sparking the cultured peal industry 

Kokichi Mikimoto (25 January 1858 - 21 September 1954)


The techniques that make industrial pearl culturing possible were developed over a century ago at the Misaki Marine Biological Station in Japan. Founded in 1886, MMBS is one of the world’s oldest marine stations and is part of the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Science. The station’s first director, Professor Kakichi Mitsukuri, emphasized to Kokichi Mikimoto in 1890 that stimulating pearl sac formation was important for pearl growth, and they went on to successfully develop methods for culturing pearls. Their achievements are credited with laying the foundation for today’s pearl farming industry.

University of Tokyo
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