The company traces its history from its foundation in 1939. optical laboratory, which occupied one room on the 3rd floor of the Takikawa building in Tokyo. The laboratory was opened jointly by two young people: Goro Yoshida, and his son-in-law Saburo Utida. Her task was to produce high-class cameras, no worse than German models, which at that time were the most advanced. They began to study the mechanisms of existing cameras. Takeshi Mitarai sponsored these studies with a close friend of Utida, who later became president of the company.
The company was named after the goddess of mercy Canon (better known as Guanyin of the Chinese pantheon, she is also the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara).
In 1934, they managed to create the first Japanese 35 mm camera with a Leica shutter-type shutter. Being a believer, Yoshida named the camera “Kwanon” in honor of the Buddhist goddess of mercy. The June issue of Asahi Camera magazine featured an announcement on Kwanon cameras. Of the ten cameras produced, not one hit the market. Continue reading