24 March 2023

The Hachiya Brothers

The country of Brazil has already shown up on these Chronicles. Pilot built its first manufacturing plant in this country in 1954, and since then pens and inks an other products have supplied the local market.

But the history of Pilot in Brazil started some years before that 1954.

Undated ad of Hachiya e Irmãos.

The migration of Japanese people to the Americas started by the end of 1800s with the end of the “closed country” policy of Japan. First they went to Hawaii and North America, but the 1908 gentleman's agreement between Japan the US redirected those migrating movements to Latin America. As a result, Brazil became the home to the largest number of descendants of Japanese in the world.

Almanak Laemmert, 1915. Reference of the company Hachiya e Irmão, located in the street Theophilo Ottoni 99.

The first member of the Hachiya (蜂谷) family to arrive in Brazil was Gosuke Hachiya in 1907. By 1910 the Hachiya company was founded to import Japanese products –chinaware from Nagoya, celluloid goods from Osaka--, and to export semi-precious stones from Brazil.

Undated ad of Franklin pens signed by Hachiya, Irmãos e Companhia.

And by 1938, the Hachiya, Irmãos e Companhia (Hachiya, Brothers and Co.) started offering fountain pens. The first mention is about a brand called Franklin, a name used by Pilot for export pens in those years. And in March of 1939 Hachiya the ads were about Pilot pens directly.

Among them we can see the well known 38R with the easy-drinking –nomikomi— filling system, dubbed in Portuguese as “abastecimento magico”.

Vida domestica, 1939. Ad of Pilot pens: duravel, bonita, mais barata. Durable, beautiful, inexpensive!

O Cruzeiro, 1940.

All this came to an end in December of 1941 with the Pearl Harbor attack and the beginning of the war between Japan and the US.

Hachiya Irmãos tried to re-structure the company to avoid the confiscation of assets. That, in fact, took place four months later—in March of 1942 the Brazilian government ordered the confiscation of all goods owned by German, Italian and Japanese citizens.

Hachiya Irmãos was effectively dissolved in March of 1944.

So this is, in summary, the short history of Pilot in Brazil before the War. And in another text we will speak about some of the pens from that period found in Brazil.

Lamy Al-Star – Lamy Blue

March 24th, 2023
labels: Brasil, Pilot


Anonymous said...

Neat. When I was growing up in Brazil, such “lojas de japonês” still existed, selling all srts of oriental goods.

The various images show variations of the company name, but none translates as “Hachiya Brothers.” The first says “Hachiya and Brothers”. The listing of stores selling oriental goods says “Hachiya and Brother”. The rest say “Hachiya, Brothers, and Co.” Is Hachiya a family name? I’d guess not. And the growth from brother to brothers to “and Co.” suggests a growing family and maybe a growibg business.

Bruno Taut said...


Thanks for your comments and corrections. I have made the amendments to the names of the company --usually Hachiya, Irmãos e Compania; occasionally Hachiya e Irmãos.

About the name of the family, there are numerous records addressing them as Hachiya--Gosuke, Sen-chi, and Kazuo. There are also some references to Alice Hachiya, possibly the wife of the first since 1912. Gosuke Hachiya became member of the board of the Japan-Brazil Chamber of Commerce.

On the other hand, Hachiya as a last name in Japan is not that unusual.

Thanks for passing by and commenting.


Anonymous said...

That’s is correct, Gosuke Hachiya was my great-grandfather, and he was married to Alice.

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Anonymous for your comment on your great-grandfather.

Could you please contact me through my email katsura.rikyu at gmail dot com? I would really appreciate it.



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