Sparking the cultured pearl industry [Asia Research News 2018 Moments in History]

The techniques that make industrial pearl culturing possible were developed over a century ago at the Misaki Marine Biological Station in Japan.

Cultured pearls (front) are formed by placing initial seeds (back) inside Akoya pearl oysters.

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.

Further information
Professor Yoshitaka Oka | Email: [email protected]
Misaki Marine Biological Station
The University of Tokyo
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Professor Kakichi Mitsukuri.

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The Misaki Marine Biological Station at Aburatsubo, where it moved in 1897.