Japan is home to the world’s most famous and sophisticated Mikimoto pearls. The indigenous craft began its first pearl cultivation in 1893 at a pearl oyster farm at the Shinmei inlet on Ago Bay in Mie Prefecture. The founder, Kokichi Mikimoto (1858-1954), was fascinated by pearl divers in Ise when he was a young man and dreamed of further perfecting the art of pearl culture.
Today, his huge enterprise sets its pearl culture production at the Mikimoto Pearl Island in Ise Bay in Toba, Mie Prefecture.
The island can be visited for its Pearl Museum, established in 1962. It showcases Mikimoto company’s splendid collection of different types of pearls and jewelry with detailed explanations of their origin—from mollusks, oysters and abalones.
Videos, drawings, and installations comprehensively introduce the history, science and industry of pearl cultivation. Visitors will be mesmerized by the intricacy of the production process. A wide selection of artistic works, such as watches, pagodas and crowns assembled by Mikimoto craftsmen is also exhibited.
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