The calligraphy of Baron Ryuichi Kuki This memorial stone erected
in 1938 for the 100th anniversary of the birth of Genzo Shimadzu
Sr. is inscribed Gen-En-Ryu Cho which embodies
the sentiment that, despite of long time lapse since the founding
Shimadzu the company will develop by fanning out, similar to the
flow of a river.
Shimadzu Corporation, Kiyamachi Head Office
Welcome to the Shimadsu Foundation Memorial Hall
The Shimadzu Foundation Memorial Hall was established in memory
of the illustrious achievements of our founder Genzo Shimadzu Sr.
to coincide with Shimadzu's foundation centenary (1975). This is
the place where Shimadzu Corporation was founded and is also the
cradle of modern Japanese science.
There are a vast number of items on display in this hall from apparatus
for physics and chemistry, and medical X-ray equipment produced
since the foundation of the company and valuable documents and materials.
Through these one can see the development trends of modern science
and technology in Japan. We hope you enjoy your visit and please
take your time as you look around.
Genzo Shimadzu Sr.
Born the second son of Seibei
Shimadzu, a maker of Buddhist after equipment, in Kyoto in 1636
Genzo Sr. left the family business at the age of 36 to start up
on his own His attention was caught by the ideal of building the
country on a foundation of science, production of physics and chemistry
equipment here on this land
A print of the hydrogen balloon built
by Genzo Shimadzu Sr
Modern Science Technology Started Here at Kiyamachi-Nijo, Kyoto.
Genzo Shimadzu Sr. Establishes Business at Kiyamachi St. and Nijo St.
Kyoto city went into decline after its thousand-year role as the capital was shifted to Tokyo, but it was not long before the city started developing a strong industrial promotion plan which was used to introduce the latest Western technology and facilities. A string of facilities including the physics and chemistry research institute and the industry promotion center were setup in this area which duly became a base for modern industry in Japan. This area is at the far northern end of the Takase river, which was developed into a transport canal in 1611, and thrived as a vital link between Kyoto, Fushimi in south Kyoto and Osaka.
Kyoto Seimi-Kyoku (Kyoto
Prefectural Physics and Chemistry Research Institute)
Genzo Shimadzu Studied under Dr. Wagener
Dr. Wagener, the Father of Modern Industry in Kyoto
Kyoto prefecture opened the Kyoto Prefectural Physics and Chemistry Research Institute as the mother figure of modern industry, and also invited the German scientist, Dr. Gottfried Wagener to be the science lecturer at this institute. Dr. Wagener lectured on the latest technology as well as taking charge of actual product application including ceramics, cloisonne, and dyeing.
He came to be known as the father of modern industry in Kyoto as he nurtured many of the people who would go on to contribute to the industrial modernization of Japan.
Genzo Sr. was also one of these people - he was taught by Dr. Wagener, went on to manufacture a succession of new machines, and laid the foundations for today's modern industry in Kyoto. He was also awarded second prize for his still apparatus exhibited at the 2nd National Industrial Promotion Fair.
After this, and in accordance with the dying wishes of Genzo Sr., Genzo Shimadzu Jr. continued and greatly expanded his father's work.
Genzo Shimadzu Jr.
Genzo Jr, was born in Kamigyo Nijo, Kyoto in 1869. At the age of 25, he became the head of the family with the sudden death of his father. From here on he developed a succession of new products, and was later chosen as one of the top-ten inventors in Japan.
Radiographs taken at the early stage of experiment at Shimadzu (1896)
Genzo Shimadzu Jr. Further Developed Science Technology
Genzo Shimadzu Jr. Devoted His Life to the Quest of Knowledge and the Development of Science and Technology
Genzo Jr. became the head of the family in 1894, and nurtured his own ability in accordance with his father's dying wishes. The discovery of that ability can be seen with the completion of the Wimshurst's influence machine at the tender age of 15. This machine was popularly known as the "Shimadzu's generator", and was used for many years. Furthermore, in 1896 – a year after Dr. Roentgen discovered the X-ray - Genzo Jr. succeeded in taking some X-ray pictures in the initial stage of Japanese X-ray development. This was the momentum for his development of many epoch-making new technologies and products such as X-ray equipment for medical use and storage batteries. In this way, Genzo Shimadzu Jr. devoted his whole life to the development of science and technology. And thus he was honored with an invitation to a dinner party given by the emperor for the top-ten inventors in Japan in 1930.