our history

Amato’s History Is
the History of Hemorrhoid Medicines

Since its founding 200 years ago as a traditional drug seller, and after the establishment of Amato Pharmaceutical Products along with the formulation of BORRAGINOL® about 100 years ago, Amato has thought about the life and health of patients first and foremost and has been concerned with both product quality and the information quality.

Why did Amato begin as a traditional drug seller?

It was established to respond to the needs and expectations of visitors who came to worship at a nearby Shinto shrine. Two hundred years ago, the Moto Ise Shrine was located about 100 kilometers northwest of Kyoto, and the traditional drug seller, Amazuya Tosuke, in the commercial area was located at the entrance to the shrine. After hearing the heated discussions of pilgrims visiting the shrine, the founder decided to set up a traditional drugstore called Amato, which began to offer Japanese and Chinese drugs to help shrine visitors maintain their health. We believe that the beginning of Amato’s interest in product quality and information quality began here, as the people working in Amato “listened intently” to what the pilgrims had to say about the selection of items in the store.

Why was BORRAGINOL® developed as the first product for hemorrhoids in Japan in a university hospital?

Until 1921, there were no Western medicinal preparations to treat hemorrhoids in Japan. BORRAGINOL® was first developed and used in Kyoto University Hospital. Clinical trials data of the active ingredients were published in medical journals of the times, and it was regarded as an epoch-making development. Kinzo Ohtsuki, Amazuya Tosuke VIII, was a pharmacist at Kyoto University Hospital, and he founded Amato Pharmaceutical and was involved in the development of BORRAGINOL®.

Kinzo Ohtsuki (second row, left)

Why was the product named BORRAGINOL® ?

The name was derived from the active ingredient of the preparation at that time, which was an essence obtained from the lithospermum root, a plant used as lithospermi radix dye. The trade name BORRAGINOL® was derived from the family name of this plant, which has the Latin name of boraginaceae. Lithospermum has small white flowers that produce hard seeds resembling small stones.

Why did Amato begin operations as the Amato Pharmaceutical Research Institute?

Kinzo Ohtsuki, a pharmacist at Kyoto University Hospital, left his university position, reorganized his family business, Amato Drugstore, and changed the name to Amato Pharmacy. Along with this, he established the Amato Pharmaceutical Research Institute. At the request of Kyoto University Hospital, he began to prepare medicine that was recognized by Japan’s Ministry of Home Affairs. We believe his bold intention was to conduct pharmacology research and develop new product value.

Why were many types of medicinal preparations, and not just suppositories, manufactured?

This is because we have always focused on developing preparations that are suited to treat patients and created containers that are easy to use. During Japan’s Taisho era (1912 to 1926) and Showa era (1926 to 1988), Amato mainly produced suppositories containing cacao butter and ointment prepared with Vaseline. During World War II, when it became difficult to obtain raw materials, Amato developed cream made with lanoline, suppositories using Japan wax. In addition, during the early Showa era, Amato used not only paper as a packaging material but also developed canned products and products that can be injected directly into containers similar to those used today.

Why has BORRAGINOL® been favored for such a long period?

We believe it is because Amato has taken customers as the source of its ideas going back 200 years and has treasured the feelings of patients who desire to maintain good health; for this reason, Amato has continued to make BORRAGINOL®. In manufacturing it, we select the four ingredients that go into this product carefully and continue to insist on safety and effectiveness.