After the capital was moved from Kyoto to Tokyo in 1869, the government of Kyoto Prefecture established a series of industrial facilities in the Kiyamachi-Nijo district to introduce state-of-the-art technology from Europe and the United States to help modernize Japan. In such turbulent times, Genzo Shimadzu Senior switched his business from manufacturing Buddhist altar fittings to educational instruments for studying physics and chemistry. He believed science and technology were important and thought that education based on them should be carried out.
This belief was passed down to his eldest son, Genzo Junior. Genzo Junior used his talent for invention and innovation, inherited from his father, to not only manufacture physics and chemistry instruments but also develop new business fields, such as medical X-ray systems and storage batteries.