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Mikimoto Family
by: Yvonne

It was 1896 - The Year the ambitious Mikimoto, formerly the town noodle maker and vegetable merchant was granted a patent for the "invention" of the semi-spherical pearl. It should have been the best year of his life, but in a cruel twist of fate his beloved wife Ume, died at age 32 after an operation. She had given Mikimoto five children and also delivered his first five cultured pearls.
Although he would live for almost another sixty years, he did not take another spouse; he was wedded to his business.


N, Foules, Mikimoto, Assouline Publishing, New York, 2008.

Mikimoto Pearls, Mikimoto Family History and My Dad
by: Anonymous

Dear Mark
thank you for sending in this fascinating story about your families involvement with the Mikimoto family and Mikimoto pearls in the early pioneering days:

"Greetings..after extensive searches I happened upon your site..
I have some mikimoto pearl jewelry items that were left to me recently after my moms passing away..This is kind of an unusual twist as to the origin of the pearl necklaces, bracelets, rings earings and other "loose" cultures and natural pearls I have as a group.

My Dad was commander of the 6000th support group that went back to Japan during the reparation after WWI as a Major in the Airforce and a "Deacon" or chaplains assistant, he volunteered to go for a 3 year support mission to set up a base/headquarters and mission chapel.

They then also helped 2 of the largest orphanages and hospital clinics for orphans of the terrible nuclear aftermath of Nakasaki and Hiroshima. He worked at the base BUT after 5pm was the house quest of an old Japanese family in Kioto near the orphanage and the base.. Long story short..after 3 years of "learning japanese customs,being their housequest and living hand and hand on his time off he learned rose gardening, bonzai and "and oyster farming and pearl cultivation".

When he left Japan in 1956, the family he stayed with laidened and showered him with gifts and mementos from his experience and especially working on behalf of the children and the services he was responsible for..I have Hikata figurines, hand made silver items but the prize possessions are all the pearl items left to me, my mom always had on from time to time..

Some are intact..some or the "handstrung " beading has come loose and 2 larger Necklaces are in envelopes need restringing..Some were from then..the 40's but I know some from the "PAPPA" Son head of the house were from his lineage and older as a "SPECIAL" gift for my dad (to mom)..Here is a photo of part of the group..some intact some loose, some are saltwater cultured some are the freshwater natural ones..anyhow sorry for the long note BUT I felt the story is important.. as he always told us the stories of meeting the Mikimoto family and oyster harvesting and how pearls are developed over time!....
Thanks in advance for your terrific site.."

Hi Mark these stories are very important! You must be very proud of your father. Please tell us the stories about meeting the Mikimoto family. I would like to add these stories into the main section of Antique Jewelry Investor with permission. Photos - YES please. You can attach photos and send to my personal address: yvonnehammoudaATmacDOTcom

We can discuss value later. We look forward to reading more....

best wishes,
Yvonne Hammouda-Eyre

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