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.
|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|