Olympus Corporation

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Olympus Corporation (オリンパス株式会社 Orinpasu Kabushiki-gaisha?) is a Japan-based company that manufactures optics and Reprography products. Olympus was established on October 12, 1919, initially specialized in microscope and thermometer businesses[2]. It is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, while its United States' operations are based in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, and European operations are based in Hamburg, Germany.


Company name

The company is named after Mount Olympus, the home of the 12 supreme gods and goddesses in Greek mythology[1]. In the words of the company, they chose the name to "reflect its strong aspiration to create high quality, world famous products".

In Japanese mythology, eight million gods and goddesses live in Takamagahara, the peak of Mt. Takachiho. (Takachiho is the name of the predecessor of Olympus Corporation.) The company selected the name "Olympus" as the trademark because Mt. Olympus, like Mt. Takachiho, was the home of gods and goddesses. This trademark also represents what Olympus says is their aspiration to illuminate the world with its optical devices, just like Takamagahara brought light to the world.

Takachiho Seisakusho changed to Takachiho Optical Co., Ltd. in 1942 when optical products became the mainstay of the company. In 1949, the name changed again, to Olympus Optical Co., Ltd., in an attempt to enhance its corporate image. In 2003, the company changed again, to Olympus Corporation, to unify the corporate name and the well-known brand.

Since its foundation in 1919, the company has gone through a few name changes. "Olympus" has been used as a trademark since the time of Takachiho Seisakusho, the predecessor of Olympus Corporation. Below is a table of corporate names Olympus has used.[1]

The company has had five different logos.

Logo created in 1919. The first corporate logo was "TOKIWA", not "OLYMPUS". "TOKIWA" derived from Tokiwa Shokai, the company that the founder, Takeshi Yamashita, had worked for. Tokiwa Shokai held an equity stake in Takachiho Seisakusho and was responsible for marketing Takachiho products. The logo reads "TOKIWA TOKYO." The "G" and "M" marks above are believed to be the initials of, Goro Matsukata, the president of Tokiwa Shokai.

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