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A small mom-and-pop seed store established in Kyoto, Japan in 1835; this is the very beginning of Takii & Company, Limited.
Having been the capital city where the imperial palace was situated from 794 until 1868, Kyoto was the center of politics, economy and culture of Japan for a long period of time. It has been a cradle for many different industries including seed business. The seed industry there began as a side business of skilled and hardworking farmers who engaged on the side in domesticating vegetables and flowers brought to Kyoto from all over the country as gifts for the imperial family and for the temples and shrines. They selected such vegetables and flowers for the local climatic conditions and multiplied the seeds for sale to the other farmers. Later on, they became professional seedsmen. Mr. Jisaburo Takii, the founder of Takii, was one of such farmers. Takii has been in business for 182 years as of today, which means it is one of the oldest seed firms in Japan.
Just as the modern Kyoto is proud of its long tradition and history as well as of its concentration of internationally known, high-tech industries, Takii today represents the unique combination of East and West, Old and Modern. It is known to be one of the most innovative in the world seed industry.
In 1935, the company opened its breeding and research station for the scientific research and development of hybrid vegetable and flower seed varieties. The scientific exploration and struggle for the next 15 years finally bore fruit as the world first commercial F1 hybrid cabbage variety in 1950, followed by many world first F1 hybrids of Brassica vegetables. The strength of Takii is founded on the hundreds of thousands of varieties we have collected from all around the world over the past 180 years. Takii has released more than 2,000 varieties (approximately 1,500 for vegetables and 500 for flowers), utilizing this vast collection of seeds as plant genetic resources, the breeding technique of crossing we developed, as well as using up-to-date DNA marker technology.
Takii’s international business began in 1920, when it exported seeds of some Japanese vegetables to the United States. All the oversea business was lost with Japan’s defeat of World War II but the introduction of the first F1 hybrid brassica vegetable varieties enabled the company to be back on track of its international growth. Takii now sells seeds to more than 100 countries and areas and has subsidiary companies in the Netherlands, France, Spain, Denmark, Turkey, the U.S., Brazil, Chile, China, Korea, India, Indonesia and Thailand. Our main vegetable seed products include cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, eggplant, melon, onion, pepper, radish, rootstock, squash, tomato, and watermelon. Our main flower seed products include canna, dianthus, lisianthus, ornamental cabbage and kale, petunia, sunflower, viola and zinnia.
Takii’s mission statement is “Contribution to the society through creation of excellent varieties and stable supply of quality seeds”. We are proud of being a small but an integral part of the world agriculture and food production chains. We will continue to do our best to contribute to the world society in such a manner.