Nishimura family resided in the Lake Biwa area for several generations. Embracing the natural resources, the Nishimura family dedicated their lives to freshwater pearl farming in Lake Biwa. Fresh water pearl farming technology was widely-applied by the Nishimura Family and later evolved by them.


The Japanese economy rejuvenated post-war era. More and more freshwater pearl trading happened locally in Lake Biwa and the Nishimura Family, not only known for farming, began to export their pearls to other Asian countries and also slowly to the United States.


Young Saburo Nishimura is very proud of the family tradition and his Lake Biwa root. As a child, he worked with the older generation of Nishimura to farm freshwater pearls using the traditional technology. He felt it is his mission to bring the Biwa freshwater pearl to the world, therefore started to explore pearl trading and pearl farming technologies.


Saburo Nishimura became the consultant at the pearl sector of Mitsukoshi Department Store Nihonbashi Main Store, the first department store in Japan.  He started to trade Lake Biwa freshwater pearls under the Label BIWAKO.


Seawater pearls were more popular at this time. Curious to understand the reasoning behind this trend, Nishimura went to explore the difference between seawater pearl farming and freshwater pearl farming. To do this, he traveled to well-known seawater pearl origins, such as Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Australia, French Polynesia, and Fiji and to conduct his research.


Saburo Nishimura set up a biotech company, together with his brother, they started to promote sustainable pearl farming equipment around the world.


After Saburo’s consolidation in both farming and trading business, he strongly believed that freshwater pearls would be the future trend of the pearl world due to freshwater pearls being organic and sustainable to our natural ecosystem. He decided to shift his focus to the supply of Biwa freshwater pearls where he felt deeply rooted. He restarted to trade with department stores in Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Denmark, and New York under the Label BIWAKO.


Aiko Nishimura is Saburo‘s Niece, the brother’s daughter, who obtained a fine jewelry design degree in Kyoto. Since graduation, Aiko has been working at BIWAKO in the pearl trading business.


Aiko Nishimura started to build BIWAKO Lab as she discovered that BIWAKO clients were not only looking for high-quality pearls, but designs that offered a chic, modern design.


Saburo decided to hand over BIWAKO to Aiko. She decided to relaunch BIWAKO as a consumer brand to offer timeless modern heirlooms and to carry on the Nishimura’s mission – to offer the world best-in-kind freshwater pearls with Japanese timeless values.