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Founding of Olympus

Founder, Takeshi Yamashita

Founder, Takeshi Yamashita

The founding of Olympus and the spirit of creation

Olympus was founded on October 12, 1919 as Takachiho Seisakusho. The founder of the company, Takeshi Yamashita, established the company with the financial assistance of his previous employer, with a view to achieving domestic production of microscopes.

Yamashita encouraged his engineers by saying that mere imitations of imported products wouldn’t suffice and that it would be necessary to create something truly original. In June 1920, just six months after the company's founding, Yamashita's dream of making a domestic microscope came true with the introduction of the Asahi, the first microscope manufactured by Takachiho.

Three decades later, Olympus successfully developed the world’s first gastrocamera for practical use. The spirit of creation that infused the company at its founding has been passed on through the years, from the release of the company’s first product to its breakthroughs in Opto-Digital Technology today.

Asahi
Asahi
An early prototype gastrocamera
An early prototype gastrocamera

Origin of the Company Name

Olympus was named after Mount Olympus, the mythical home of the principal gods and goddesses of ancient Greece.

According to Japanese mythology, eight million gods and goddesses live in Takamagahara, or the Plain of High Heaven atop Mount Takachiho, the inspiration for the company’s original name.

In connection with this, "Olympus" was used as a trademark in those days. The name is also imbued with the passionate aspiration that Olympus' optics-based products will permeate the world and penetrate the world, just as the light of Takamagahara illuminates the world.

Mt.Olympus
Mt.Olympus (c) Greek National Tourism Organisation
Takachiho Peak (Miyazaki Prefecture)
Takachiho Peak (Miyazaki Prefecture)


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