Global companies that started in Kyoto have, at their source, traditional industries which have been nourished bythe history and culture of Kyoto
The pottery industry called “Kyo-yaki” and “Kiyomizu-yaki” developed in Kyoto, which used to be the capital of Japan for a long time. Pottery has not only been used in commodities and art works, but has also been applied to diverse areas for its hardness, heat resistance, corrosion resistance, and high electric insulation qualities. Typical examples of applying pottery technology are ceramic capacitors and other electronic components. Kyocera and many other global electronic manufacturers are based in Kyoto, with this traditional pottery technology at their source.
Methods for dyeing the Japanese kimono with patterns, evolved from hand-painted “yuzen” to stencil dyeing, and then to mechanical dyeing, gradually expanding the scale of production. The technology of printing cloth with ink has been applied to printing diverse materials in different combinations. These printing technologies are also used in high-tech industries, including printed boards for electronic equipment and for more advanced semiconductor substrates. Rohm and other global manufacturers are headquartered in Kyoto.
The Fushimi area in southern Kyoto City is known as one of the major sake-producing centers in Japan. Approximately 20 major sake producers are located in this area, including Gekkeikan and Takara Shuzo. Japanese sake is made primarily from rice, rice malt and water, and requires advanced fermentation technology. The fermentation technology for sake production has led to advanced biotechnology. Takara Bio, a research & development company in biotechnology, was formed as the bio business division of Takara Shuzo.
Nintendo has been leading in video game world, but its history started when the company produced and marketed “Hanafuda”, a Japanese traditional card game in 1889. Nintendo is also known for producing playing cards for the first time in Japan. In the 1980s, Nintendo became a household name around the world for the success of “Game & Watch” and “Family Computer（Nintendo Entertainment System）”. It created new entertainment by introducing electronic technology as the basis for the production of toys.