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The first microscope manufactured at Olympus was called the Asahi. Launched in March 1920, the Asahi was priced at 125 yen (about 1.25 million yen today) and was considered a highly valuable industrial product worthy of its price. It was the only model made of gunmetal, a bronze alloy made from copper and tin and used for cannon barrels.
The Asahi was marketed under the Tokiwa brand, not Olympus. It was named after Tokiwa Shokai, the firm that Yamashita had been previously associated with. Tokiwa Shokai held a stake in Takachiho Seisakusho, the forerunner of Olympus, and was also responsible for the marketing of Takachiho products at that time. The Olympus brand, which was to replace Tokiwa, was launched the following year in 1921.
In 1924, the company launched a new Asahi that could switch between two objective lenses mounted in a revolver.

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