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Momotani Juntenkan: The beginning of modern Japanese cosmetics

Article - March 24, 2023

With its original BIGANSUI product, Momotani Juntenkan has helped shape the modern cosmetics industry in Japan.

"The means to provide 'Beauty' are unlimited."
Seiichiro Momotani, President, Momotani Juntenkan

Established during the Meiji period, Momotani Juntenkan was founded in 1885 by then 22-year-old pharmacist Masajiro Momotani, who created the lotion BI (beauty), GAN (face), and SUI (water) for his wife who suffered from acne.

The story goes that upon using the so-called “BIGANSUI”, Momotani’s wife’s pimples were completely healed. The news spread quickly through Japan and across the world, and the rest, as they say, is history.

“Junten means ‘to follow the will of universe and render services to people’,” says current company president Seiichiro Momotani, and he continues to carry on this belief 137 years later.

An institute created for the purpose of developing and researching cosmetics, for example, has stood since 1913, the same year Masajiro’s second son, Kanjiro Momotani, received a prestigious award that led to the Japanese imperial family becoming one of the company’s prize customers.

Fast forward to the 1930s, and the company has started to develop products such as MEISHOKU Cleansing Cream and MEISHOKU Astringent Lotion, the latter going on to become the best-selling cosmetic products in Japan.

1993 was another big year as the company split into three, with Momotani Juntenkan taking responsibility for the group’s management strategy, Meishoku Cosmetic operating in the general market and Cosmetec Japan overseeing the OEM/ODM business. This was the driving force behind the growth of the Momotani Juntenkan Group.

Furthermore, Seiichiro Momotani's establishment of five independent research institutes, spanning from basic research to product development and cutting-edge technology research, further strengthened the R&D capabilities and opened up new possibilities for the group. This has led to a significant strengthening of the competitiveness of the OEM business in particular.