Beauty From The Beginning
For over 145 years, Shiseido has defined the concept of beauty and spread its knowledge and power onto the world. Heralding an army of devoted followers, we feel that by inspiring empathy, beauty can become a positive force in the world, and guide the next generation boldly into the future.
We love to find beauty and share it. We believe that beauty goes deeper than what is visible to the eye-beauty is sensitive to nature, the climate, light and color, all five senses, and the many intricate details of life itself.
We find beauty all over the world; We find beauty through R&D. We find beauty in science and art. We find beauty in the relationships we have, in the products we make and in how we engage with the world.
At Shiseido, beauty is not an image, it is a feeling and when it is shared, we imagine a world that is, quite simply put, better. We appreciate beauty in diversity and throughout all of humankind. We realize there is still unpleasantness to be found, so we see beauty as an antidote, a place to retreat, a feeling worth sharing – we believe beauty is the unifying source.
Shiseido. Sharing beauty since 1872.
The Origin of Our Name
Arinobu Fukuhara was working as chief pharmacist in a naval hospital at the meager age of 23 years old when he and his colleagues, also in their early 20’s, founded the first Western-style pharmacy in Japan.
Their motivation came from displeasure with medicine available on the market at the time, while their inspiration was “to take everything and anything good in this world and use it to create new things”.
The name “Shiseido” was chosen by the young pharmacist, with the words taken from a passage in I Ching meaning, Do (堂): "house of”, Shi Sei (資生): “where everything is born.” The whole passage reads “Praise the virtues of the earth, that is where anything and everything is born from”.
In 1915, the son of Arinobu, Shinzo Fukuhara became the first president of Shiseido. Prior to joining the company, Shinzo studied art in Europe and was deeply influenced by the sophisticated beauty of Art Nouveau.
As a photographer and artist, it was Shinzo himself who created the original symbolic logo featuring the Camellia flower, a design that reflected his aspiration to create world-class cosmetics from Ginza, Tokyo.
A testament to his foresight and talent, Shinzo’s design remains the same today (with subtle adjustments made over the years), and The Camellia (“Hanatsubaki”) has continued on as a symbol of Shiseido’s pledge to beauty.
Through The Arts
Shiseido has been cultivating and supporting the arts from day one. The founding family’s desire to combine art and science was fervent, and their great appreciation for European art, culture and design was reflected in the course of Shiseido’s imagery over the years.
With the inception of the Shiseido Gallery in 1919, Shiseido continued to support and nurture up-and-coming Japanese artists. Said to be the oldest art gallery still operating in Japan, the gallery has hosted over 3,100 exhibitions, many of which served as the public debut for artists who would later make major contributions to the course of Japanese art. The Fukuhara family was also linked to the development of photography as art in Japan.
In Kakegawa, the Shiseido Art House exhibits Shiseido’s vast collection of contemporary art and design, and has done since 1978.
The Hanatsubaki Award for Contemporary Poetry was implemented in 1983 with the aim of “Heightening the power of words to communicate beauty”.
Finding Beauty Through R&D
Shiseido opened its first research center in Japan in 1916. The company was committed to redefining beauty and discovering new technology and methodologies to embrace beauty from the inside out. Due to its devotion, there are now research centers in China, Thailand, USA, and France. Shiseido has become an authority on skin and skincare and a leader of basic research in dermatology.
Shiseido demonstrates genuine empathy towards understanding the way consumers comprehend health and beauty and its effect on human emotion, and with this, a boundless desire to convey the message that beauty is perceived with the five senses.
Shiseido goes above and beyond industry standards when it comes to product quality, testing and formulations, and natural ingredients are purified to our own high standards before being included within any formula.
In 2000, all Shiseido factories earned ISO14001 certification. The company is passionate about maintaining environmental consciousness and the eradication of animal testing.