In 1950, 19-year old Kyoichi Tanaka was employed at Tamamizuya optical shop, and first heard of contact lenses from the wife of a U.S. Army officer.

From this encounter, he conducted his own research and, in 1951, developed the first corneal contact lens in Japan.

A commemorative plaque has been erected in Tamamizuya (Nishiki, Naka-ku, Nagoya) to mark the birth of this medical device that has earned a place in the history of the twentieth century.

The Man Who Invented the Japanese Contact Lens

1950 - 1969 / Starting from zero

Invented the first practical corneal contact lenses in Japan.
Nippon Contact Lens Research Institute founded.
Nippon Contact Lens Co., Ltd. founded.
Company renamed Toyo Contact Lens Co., Ltd.
“Menicon” registered as a trademark.

Menicon Head Office

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1970 - 1989 / Soaring Creativity

Menicon 8 introduced to market.
Menicon Soft introduced to market.
Intraocular lenses developed.
Menicon Europe S.A. founded in France.
Menicon Soft International Research Symposium held to commemorate the company’s 25th anniversary.
Menicon O2 introduced.
Menicon O2 Care introduced to market.
International Research Symposium held to commemorate the company’s 30th anniversary.
Menicon O2-SP oxygen-permeable GP contact lens introduced to market.
Menicon Seki Factory established.
Toyo Contact Lens Co., Ltd. and Menicon Co., Ltd.
merge to become Menicon Co., Ltd.
Menicon GmbH founded in Germany.
Menicon Soft MA introduced to market.

Menicon SAS (France)

Menicon Seki Factory

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1990-1999 / The Quality Challenge

Menicon Super EX introduced to market.
International Symposium held to commemorate the company’s 40th anniversary.
Sponsored Menicon Super Concert.
Menicon Soft 72 introduced to market.
Menicon Pharma SAS founded in France.
Menicon Pharma factory established.
Menicon becomes official supplier for the Japanese Professional Football League.
Gallery Menio opened.
Menicon Soft S introduced to market.
Colored IOL(intraocular lenses) introduced to market.
New head office building completed.
Commenced special sponsorship of the Menicon Cup (a Japanese U-15 youth soccer east-west club match). The R&D Center founded.
Manufacture of Meni-One Lens IOL for dogs, approved.
Menicon Professorship established at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (America).
Menicon Team SARD formed to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Suzuka 1000-km races.
Certified ISO9001, ISO13485 and CE mark.
Menicon home page opened.
Menicon Z ® introduced to market.
Meni-One IOL for dogs introduced to market.
Meni Flex intraocular lenses introduced to market.
Medical supplies for ophthalmological treatment introduced to market.
“Giving Light to Guide Dogs with Cataracts” campaign launched.

Menicon R&D Center

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2000-2009 / Innovation to the world

Plaque displayed in Tamamizuya commemorating the site as the “birthplace of contact lenses” in Japan.
Menifocal ® introduced to market.
Hidenari Tanaka appointed as President.
Menicon España S.L. founded in Spain.
Menicon America Inc. founded in the USA.
MELS Plan, member-only system launched.
International Symposium held to commemorate the company's 50th anniversary.
Menicon Techno Station founded.
Monthwear introduced to market. Menicon O2 CARE NEO introduced to market.
Meni-One Contact Lens for therapy introduced to market.
Meni-One Co. Ltd. founded.
Menicon Holdings Europe founded in France.
New PROTEOFF introduced to market.
Menicon UK Ltd. founded.
EPICA HEAT SYSTEM introduced to market.
Menicon 1Day introduced to market.
Menicon-Mandarin Asia Pte. Ltd. founded in Singapore.
O2 CARE MILPHA FRESH introduced to market.
Monthwear Toric introduced to market.
EPICA CLEAR introduced to market.
Certified for privacy market.
EPICA COLD introduced to market.
NKL Contactienzen of Holland acquired.
Avancy, a foldable intraocular lens, introduced to market.
Menicon Tinu introduced to market.
2WEEK Menicon PremiO introduced to market.
Menicon Selest introduced to market.
EPICA COLD AQUA MORE introduced to market.
2WEEK Menicon PremiO Toric introduced to market.
2WEEK Menicon DUO introduced to market.
David Thomas Contact Lenses Ltd. of the U.K. acquired.

Menicon Techno Station

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2010-The Future/Steps Toward becoming a Global Corporation

Menicon Nect converted to a subsidiary.
Lagado Corporation. Co., Ltd. of the USA acquired.
Introduced a committee-based executive officer system, separating oversight functions from business functions.
Menicon China Co., Ltd. founded.
Singapore Factory established.
2WEEK Menicon Bifocals introduced to market.
Ceremony held to commemorate the company's 60th anniversary.
Masic 1day Menicon Flat Pack introduced to market.
W.I. System Inc. converted to subsidiary.
Name of Menicon Holdings Europe changed to Menicon SAS (France).
DARUMA OPTICA S.L. founded in Spain.
SARL LABORATOIRE TOURS CONTACT (LTC) of France, a chain store handling prescription service and general retail, acquired.
2WEEK Menicon Attention introduced to market.
Gallery Menio and HITOMI Hall opened.
Antibacterial O2 CARE MILPHA introduced to market.
MIRU 1 month Menicon introduced to market.
O2 CARE AMINO-SORA introduced to market.
MIRU 1day Menicon Flat Pack introduced to market.

(As of Mar. 2013 )

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