Text Box:     VINTAGE MINIATURE BINOCULARS

Japanese External Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars.   VIRTUAL MUSEUM

MARK OHNO

Please note: a great amount of effort has been made to try to be as accurate as possible. But   information about distribution tends to be scarce and fragmentary, and errors or misinterpretation are possible and/or probable. Please keep in mind that any errors are unintentional, and will be cheerfully corrected upon notification And that this is a not for profit attempt to document otherwise unavailable aspects of binocular history by optics enthusiasts, for the benefit of optics enthusiasts. The distinction between Japanese manufacturers, exporters, and distributors and importing country wholesale and retail distribution may be blurred, so I have been generous about inclusion.

Text Box: Historical Information: Wholesale Distributors. Historische Informationen: Großhandel Distributoren. Information Historique : la Distribution en Gros. 歴史情報:卸売販売代理店. Историческая справка : Оптовая Дистрибьюторы. Historisk Information : Partihandlare. Información Histórica : Distribuidores al por Mayor.
Text Box:      NAVIGATION: I WANT TO SEE:

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS ( OWNED): RKK RIKEN BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CAMERAPEDIA

Text Box: Riken Kōgaku Kōgyō K.K. (JAPAN)
理研光学工業㈱
Riken Optical Industries Co

Riken Kōgaku Kōgyō K.K. ( 理研光学工業㈱ ) was formed in 1938, but it’s origins date to to Rikagaku Kenkyūjo, 理化学研究所 , meaning Physico-Chemical Research Institute, or more correctly Kokuritsu Kenkyū Kaihatsu Hōjin Rikagaku Kenkyūsho ( 国立研究開発法人理化学研究所 ? ). The research institute was founded initially as a private foundation in 1917, and in addition to pure research from around 1927 it also created the Riken Konzern to spin off commercial firms using scientific achievements of the research institute (in 1937 at its peak it had 63 firms with 121 factories.) After the war the commercial entities ceased to be part of the foundation and in 1958 the research portion became a public corporation funded by the government as a national research institute. So the history is complex. Riken Kōgaku Kōgyō K.K. exported a good number of 6x15 binoculars to the United States during the occupation period and shortly thereafter and these are marked “RKK” and “Riken” and sometimes also carry the name of US distributors, and after 1953 was known for Ricoh cameras. The company became Ricoh (K.K. Rikō , リコー) in 1964, but this was presumably after their production of miniature binoculars ceased. The current multi national entity Ricoh Co Ltd may have largely evolved from the sister photographic paper company.

Text Box:     USA     
   MARKET
Text Box: YOKOSHO CO. LTD.  (JAPAN)
Text Box:     USA     
   MARKET
Text Box:  EUROPE
     MARKET

BRANDS W/ MINIATURE BINOCULAR:(believed associated) YOKOSHO BINOCULARS,

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: U.S. DEPT OF COMMERCE FOREIGN COMMERCE WEEKLY 1958, YOKOHAMA TRADE GUIDE 1954

The 1954 US Dept of Commerce foreign Commerce weekly lists Yokosho Co Ltd. as a “manufacturer and exporter of optical goods, electrical appliances, radios, watch straps, etc and general merchandise.” It is believed but speculative that they are responsible for Yokosho brand binoculars. The Yokohama Trade Guide of 1954 lists Yokosho Co Ltd (probably the same entity) as being located at no 30 Miharudai, Minami ku, Yokohama, and is described as being a general exporter.   

MINIATUUR JAPANSE VERREKIJKERS

MINIATUROWE LORNETKI

PIENOISKOOSKA JAPANILAINEN KIIKARIT

μικροσκοπικά κιάλια

ミニチュア双眼鏡

ống nhòm mini

مناظير مصغرة اليابانيةچھوٹے جاپانی دوربین

BINÓCULOS JAPONÊS EM MINIATURA

DÛRBÎN JAPANESE XWEBIXWE

دوربین دوچشمی ژاپنی مینیاتوری

MINIATUUR JAPANESE BINOCULAERS

MINIJATURNI JAPANSKI DALEKOZOR

MINIATURNÍ JAPONSKÉ DALEKOHLEDY

MALIIT NA LARAWAN JAPANESE LARGABISTA

MINIATYURA YAPONIYA DURBIN

BINOCOLO GIAPPONESE IN MINIATURA

TEROPONG KECIL JEPUN