Japanese press

To the responder from Japan: if you can discover anything about this press, I’d be most grateful. Here is the nameplate….and thank you for taking an interest.


image: Nameplate Japanese press.jpg

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Thanks for posting the name plate. I am very curious now as well. The prefixes for the phone numbers are no longer used, but I will see what I can found out. Meanwhile, below is a quick translation.

Makise Insatsu Kizairyo Seizo Kabushikigaisha

(Producers of High Quality Printers and Binding Machines)

Head Office:
Tokyo-To Chiyoda-ku, Jinbocho 1-37
Phone (293) 8321-3

Tokyo-To Itabashiku Funado1-10
Phone (966) 4849

Tokyo-To Bunkyoku Koraku 2-8
Phone (811) 2565

How old is this, do you think? Can you tell by the telephone prefixes?

Erst mentioned in the other thread that the original owner had purchased back in the 1960’s, but the company itself probably dates back to at least the 19th century based on the old style characters in the title.

I haven’t been able to find out any information specifically about Makise, but I was contacted by someone in Tokyo offering to sell me the exact same model shown in the photograph you posted. However, the name of the manufacturer is different and appears they may still be in business.

Thank you for the effort to identify the Makise press.
Interesting that someone has a similar one with different name. I neglected to mention one other identifier. On one of the forged structural iron parts, the initials in Roman Caps – “NGI” – are cast in relief. It is as I mentioned, a very smooth-working piece of machinery.

Yes, that’s it!
NGI or Nagai (NaGaI) was the manufacturer, so Makise was probably the original owner of your press.

Well, I had a chance to buy the same NGI tabletop press, but passed on it for a Heidelberg which was just delivered today. I came across a printer in Tokyo, who was closing and desperate for someone to take the press rather than send it to the scrap yard.

By the way, the owner has been a letterpress printer for 48 years and started with a Chandler back in the day. He said that Chandlers were imported into Japan in large numbers, but later happily switched to the Heidelberg so he wouldn’t have to keep bandaging his fingers! He also mentioned that the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo still uses a Chandler to print their menu.

Happy New Years

I appreciate your help…and have now written to Nagai Co. to see if they have any record of this generation of presses. I’ll let you know if I discover anything of interest….

Good luck with the Heidelberg, and a happy new year to you as well!