GIA Japan celebrates 35 years

Nearly 200 Japanese jewelry industry dignitaries and GIA graduates gathered at the Royal Park Hotel in Tokyo recently to celebrate the 35-year anniversary of GIA Japan—the first campus GIA opened outside the U.S.

“It is a momentous time in GIA’s history in Japan, and we recognize the remarkable accomplishments that have been made for the Institute and the industry together here,” said GIA education vice president Brook Ellis.

GIA Japan Director Yoshiko Doi welcomed the guests, including Mr. Kuwayama, chairman of the Japan Jewelry Association, Mr. Fukui, chairman of the Tokyo Diamond Exchange, and executives of leading Japanese jewelry companies.

In 1969, Doi was the first Japanese woman to complete GIA’s Graduate Gemologist diploma program on campus. She went to work at the Institute’s headquarters, which was then located in San Vicente, Calif., and was the first person to translate the Institute’s courses into a foreign language.

Doi returned to Japan in 1971 and worked with retired military officer and fellow G.G., Kenzo Yamamoto, to create a nonprofit organization called the Association of Japan Gem Trust, which operated like GIA and provided gemological training in cooperation with the Institute. In 1976, GIA Japan opened its Osaka office.

“Over the years, thousands of Japanese jewelry industry members have learned the gemological expertise that GIA teaches and created very successful careers,” Doi said.

Since its inception, GIA Japan has graduated 8,600 students. Today there are more than 3,400 G.G.s in Japan and 565 members in the GIA Alumni Association there. The branch has 11 instructors who teach classes in gemology, jewelry design, and wax. All classes are taught in Japanese.

The 2006 G.G. classes will begin Jan. 16, April 3, July 18, and Oct. 12 in Tokyo, and April 17 and Oct. 16 in Osaka. To learn more about GIA Japan or GIA Japan Osaka offices, e-mail info@giajpn.gr.jp or osaka@giajpn.gr.jp; or call Tokyo at 813-3835-7046 or Osaka at 816-6266-8601.