Just how much money did Kokichi Mikimoto Pearl King make in the postwar years?
Find out here and view photos of personal articles owned by the Pearl King.
Kokichi Mikimoto Pearl King, as written about in the following beginning of a USA magazine article printed on September 9, 1946.
"In a modest, unpainted four-room house atop a narrow headland overlooking Japan's Ago Bay, a wizened little man in a brown kimono and a black derby hat shuffled about in a pearly haze. He was Kokichi Mikimoto, age 89, who has annoyed more oysters for more profit than any other man. Last week the longtime king of Japan's culture-pearl industry declared the largest personal income in Japan in the first year of American occupation.
He had netted three million yen ($200,000) selling pearls to the conquerors. To Mikimoto this was a significant milestone in his postwar rehabilitation."
Kokichi Mikimoto Pearl King, while a rich man, chose to live a simple life.
This is his house at Ago Bay, which still bears the name of K. Mikimoto, where he spent his later years.
Ago Bay is not far from Pearl Island. He had pearl farms in both locations.
Did he entertain?
Sure, in his simple style. But he insisted that his guest arrive in the comfort of this bamboo palanquin, on display at the Mikimoto Memorial Hall on Pearl Island, which had to be carried by two men.
The food was probably a simple fare. Mikimoto liked rice and fresh seafood and root vegetables. His ideal diet was, "Three bowls of rice in the morning, two at noon, and one at night."
These simple bowls, seen at Memorial Hall, consisted of his dishes. Fame and fortune didn't dampen his love for simplicity.
His glasses, which gave him his distinctive appearance, shown here, are one of several pairs he owned. He always prescribed his own lenses.
Several photos of Kokichi Mikimoto show him wearing this black bowler hat, common in his day. It reminds me our our favorite old time comedians...Laurel and Hardy. And his famous black "medicine bag," which I can imagine held more pearls than medicine.
Kokichi Mikimoto Pearl King appreciated the innocence of children and always wanted to be the kind of man written about in school books.
His wish came true in 1947 when his story was introduced in a 5th grade book under the title of "Pearls." Copies remain in the Memorial Hall on Pearl Island.