[244] Papilio


∅ 7.2 cm



IMG_8436 IMG_8418


Papilio, originally called Itou kochouen (伊東胡蝶園, est. 1904 by Nakahiko Hasebe長谷部仲彦 and Itou Sakae伊東栄), became the company’s name since 1935. Ito Kochouen was known as one of the big four in the cosmetics industry in Japan during Meiji era (明治 1868 – 1912). Kochou (胡蝶) referes to a kind of butterfly called Papilio machaon. They were the first enterprise in Japan to introduce face powder which did not contain lead and even the Japanese Emperor of Taishou (大正 1912 -1926) used their products. Later sales gradually decreased as the competition was getting more and more fierce in the cosmetics industry and Ito Kochouen eventually closed in 1997. 

Today, the brand name Papilio is still in use by Pias Corporation (ピアス株式会社, cosmetics maker based in Osaka, Japan) under license, and Papilio Co.Ltd was established in 2004. However it has no relation whatsoever to the original Ito Kochouen.


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