JICO branded styli
JICO is the brand name of the NIPPON PRECISION JEWEL INDUSTRY CO., LTD.
"About 140 years ago we started a sewing needle factory for Kimono."
"We began manufacturing steel record needles in 1959 and modern diamond tipped styli in 1964, marking our company’s 55th anniversary in 2013. Our factory headquarters is located in Hamasaka, situated on the Sea of Japan in the northern part of Hyogo prefecture, approximately 200km from the major urban areas of Osaka and Kobe.
In winter Hamasaka experiences heavy snowfall and long ago we were unable to travel even to the next town, being cut off by the many mountain passes. Therefore it was necessary to design, fabricate, and repair all production facilities and required equipment, such as our custom jigs, by ourselves. Even today, with advances in modern transportation infrastructure, three to four hours are required to reach a major city. In other words, enduring the hardship and inconvenience of geographic isolation has given us the technological strength to be self-reliant. As the maxim goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
In 2004 we opened our web store to overseas customers. We manufacture 2,200 different models of record styli one piece at a time and produce an average of 120,000 pieces annually. Today the JICO name is well known by audiophiles around the world as the maker of the Super Analog Stylus, a rare needle known for both superb quality and excellent fidelity."
Take this link to the JICO website for three videos which provide information about their history, location, and manufacturing prowess. http://jico-stylus.wixsite.com/rekishi-series/episodes