History

1875 (Meiji 8) onwards Genzo Shimadzu Sr. founds Shimadzu Corporation at Kiyamachi, Kyoto

Genzo Shimadzu Sr.

The year was 1875, just after the Meiji Restoration. Genzo Shimadzu Sr., the son of a craftsman of Buddhist altars, began manufacturing instruments for physics and chemistry at Kiyamachi, Kyoto. Genzo Shimadzu began his business with the strong conviction that Japan, a country with few natural resources, should work towards becoming a leader in science. He wanted to contribute to society by disseminating scientific knowledge.
The Kiyamachi-Nijo district was at the center of business development and the advancement of science in Kyoto. Here, Genzo frequented the Physics and Chemistry Research Institute, which gave lectures on physics and chemistry, and provided vocational instruction. At the institute, he gained experience with a variety of technologies and fields of expertise.
Genzo’s reputation was established after receiving an award at the first National Industrial Exhibition, held in 1877. He was also responsible for the launch of Japan’s first successful manned balloon flight, at the Sento Imperial Palace in Kyoto. In 1882 (Meiji 15), his business expanded with the publication of a catalog of instruments for physics and chemistry (“Science Equipment Catalog List”) featuring a total of 110 physics instruments. In 1886 (Meiji 19), he was asked to teach at the Kyoto Prefectural Normal School. He also established a science and technology magazine, the Physics and Chemistry Industrial Arts Journal.

Main store at Kiyamachi, about 1895Depiction of Balloon Flight
Science Equipment Catalog ListManufacture of Anatomical Models
1875 Genzo Shimadzu Sr. establishes a business in the Kiyamachi-Nijo-Minami district in Kyoto
Begins to manufacture educational physics and chemistry instruments
1877 Succeeds in launching first manned balloon flight in Japan Receives an award at the first National Industrial Exhibition
1881 Receives an award at the second National Industrial Exhibition
1884 Genzo Shimadzu Jr. creates an induction electrostatic generator
1886 Begins to teach at Kyoto Prefectural Normal School
1891 Begins to manufacture scientific specimens
The Moment Chapter 1 Genzo Shimadzu Jr. and Sr.
Discover the philosophy behind Shimadzu by tracing the steps of Genzo Shimadzu Jr. and Sr., who together created the company.