Mikimotos Vision

International trade arrived in Japan in the early 1850s, and in his port town of Toba on the Shima peninsula, pearls were the most valuable local commodity. Mikimoto pursued the trade with intensity and gained a measure of success. Years passed and pearls became more scarce. Their increasing rarity made them continually more valuable, and the voracious cycle prompted Mikimoto to explore growing pearls within the oysters of his own protected beds. By this time, his reputation as a perfectionist and an expert in the trade had reached Japan’s Imperial Court.

In 1878, he helped organize and judge a pearl exhibition. Mikimoto was shaken by the malformed, immature pearls sold by an industry corrupt from greed and lack of pride in quality. He increased his efforts, focused on Akoya oysters and experimented with seeding them with an irritant particle to stimulate the nacre secretion that resulted in the thousands of layers required to create a glistening pearl.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *