Tomiji Hirano (Tomiji Hirano)

Tomiji Hirano

Hirano was a trusted pupil of Shozo Motoki, “The Gutenberg of Japan,” who had created the first Japanese typesetting system and founded the Tsukiji Type Foundry. When Motoki decided to step down, he left the business in the hands of Hirano. In 1872, Hirano attempted to revive the company by moving it to Tokyo, which was then Japan’s new capital and the most modern city in the country. Hirano first set up shop in the Kanda district, then moved the factory to Tsukiji, eventually renaming his company the “Tokyo Tsukiji Type Foundry.” In contrast to Motoki’s business frustration, Hirano enjoyed good fortune. The publication of newspapers and magazines burgeoned in the capital and the demand for type steadily grew. Today, amid the forest of office buildings in Tsukiji, a monument to the birth of modern movable type in Japan stands on the former site of the Type Foundry. (bio by: Warrick L. Barrett)


  • January, 01, 1970


  • January, 01, 1970


  • Yanaka Cemetery
  • Japan

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