IMAYO since 1861 1861-KYOTO

150 Years of History

Founded in 1861, we have made it our mission to provide the women of the world with genuine, shimmering beauty, creating high-quality jewelry and emerging as one of the world's top jewelers.
The first generation Yohei Imanishi
The first generation
Yohei Imanishi

1861 Established in Kyoto's Gojo-Sakai-machi district 1861 Established in Kyoto's Gojo-Sakai-machi district

Yohei Imanishi was the head clerk of Fujiya, a fancy goods store that had been in business for 17 generations in the neighborhood of Kyoto's Toji Temple, renowned for its five-storied pagoda. He married his master Seibei's daughter Kinu and opened his own store in 1861 in the same neighborhood. This store would go on to become Imayo.
Although upheaval swept through Kyoto between the closing days of the Tokugawa shogunate and the start of the Meiji period, the first Yohei remained resilient during those turbulent times, building the strong foundation on which Imayo stands today.

Store and sign in the company's early days
Store and sign in the company's early days

In olden times many merchants used in-house codes called "fucho." Founder Yohei chose the code "o-mo-shi-ro-no-ha-na-za-ka-ri," each syllable representing a numeral from 0 through 9 and standing for a Japanese character. "O-mo-shi-ro-no-ha-na-za-ka-ri" refers to a diverse selection of fascinating goods, reflecting the founder's desire to offer fun, elegant and interesting products. Fucho were a basic tool of commerce, and the enterprising spirit that led founder Yohei to choose this expression for his code has been handed down as the guiding philosophy of Imayo, from its founding to the present day.

Fancy goods case
Fancy goods case
Fancy goods
Fancy goods
Account book from the time of the company's founding
Account book from the time of the company's founding
The second generation

1867 - 1929 Yohei Imanishi

In an increasingly westernized Kyoto, the second Yohei Imanishi began embracing beautiful jewelry that complemented both Japanese and Western style clothing as well as new products in step with the changing times, offering a wide range of interesting goods.

Ornate hairpin and comb from the early days
Ornate hairpin and comb from the early days
jade

Began dealing in jade

While prospering as a fancy goods dealer, precious stones were imported--such as jade from China--in response to increasing westernization and the flood of imports from overseas.

The third generation

1888 - 1976 Yohei Imanishi

The third Yohei Imanishi began dealing in diamonds in addition to jade, precious coral, and pearls.
The new products--focusing on jewelry with a refined Kyoto aesthetic and an appreciation for beauty--were well received, and Imayo opened branches in locations across Japan, including Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka.

The fourth president Shin'ichi Imanishi

1912 - 2002 The fourth president Shin'ichi Imanishi

Shin'ichi Imanishi began branching out into pearl wholesaling, and resumed the wholesaling of diamonds and other gemstones.
A period of high economic growth brought increased trade, and the adoption of casting enabled Imayo to make multiple pieces of jewelry at once as a jewelry manufacturer that combined productivity with handmade quality.

1944 Name changed to Imayo Shoten

Forced to evacuate and move to Narutaki,
Kyoto as a result of wartime requisitioning. The company's name was changed at this time.

1966 Imayo Co., Ltd. Established

The company was incorporated as
Imayo Co., Ltd. in Narutaki, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto.

Donated cat's-eye gemstone to National Museum of Nature and Science

1971 Donated cat's-eye gemstone to National Museum of Nature and Science

Shin'ichi Imanishi (fourth generation president) donated a cat's-eye gemstone to the National Museum of Nature and Science.

Nobuhiro Imanishi selected

1981 as fifth company president

Nobuhiro Imanishi ramped up direct imports of diamonds and emeralds from abroad, revitalizing and stabilizing the business structure to achieve rapid progress during a period of high economic growth.

Completion of company

1983 building and relocation

Completed company building in Takeyamachi, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto and relocated office there.

Imayo concept book

1989 Mind Jewelry published

Participated in De Beers Millennium project

1999 Participated in De Beers Millennium project

Handled De Beers Millennium Edition Diamond Hourglass (limited production) and Millennium Edition Premium Diamonds (limited production).

1999 Changed the Japanese
              characters used to write
              the company's name

Changed the Japanese characters used to write the company's name to better reflect the company's corporate identity.

2001 Chosen as a partner (one of three in Japan) by the De Beers Group's Diamond Trading Company (DTC) and began selling the Diamond Line bracelet.

2007 Joined the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB)

Joined the WFDB through the Tokyo Diamond Exchange (TDE).

Launched the original

2010 brand ICHAROI

Nobutaka Imanishi selected as sixth company president

2011 Nobutaka Imanishi selected 
              as sixth company president

Hosted

2012年 Hosted

Launched the original

2014 brand kagayoi