| Cultured pearls・The story of its birth|
| 1893, Succeeded in cultivating half-pearls
for the first time in the world
Kokichi Mikimoto was born in Toba of Ise
and his family traditionally owned a noodle
shop. He was very interested in the growth
of natural pearls gathered by Ama pearl divers.
He was considering cultivating pearls upon
the advice of a Tokyo Univ. professor Mr.Mitsukuri,
he successfully cultivated half-pearls in
1893 in Akoya oyster shells in Ojima of Toba
by trial and error.
1930, Establishes perfectly round pearl
Mr.Mikimoto made great efforts to cultivate
perfectly round pearls but it was Tokichi
Nishikawa his son-in-law who succeeded in
perfecting technique of round pearl cultivation.
This technique is known as "piece-method"
of mantle lobe into some soft tissue.
Photo by Mikimoto Pearl Island Co.,Ltd.
Meiji〜Taisho Era(1868〜1926) From simple
cultivation to effective suspending cultivation
When pearl cultivation began, nucleated oysters
were returned to the bottom of the ocean.
However, there were many problems. Natural
predators such as octopus and star fish and
environmental problem such as red tide damage
these oysters. To counter these problems,
technique known as suspending cultivation
was developed during the Meiji to Taisho
Era. They put oysters in wire cages and suspended
the cages from a raft. The scenery of pearl
rafts was born during Meiji to Taisho Era
and is well known as a pearl farming site