Our Story

Yonamine Pearls was founded in 1963 in Tokyo, Japan by Wally and Jane Yonamine.

Our Story


Wally arrived in Japan as the first American to play baseball after World War II. At first he was met with much adversity for being American, but also for his hard hitting style of baseball. This proved to be the introduction of a new style of baseball in Japan. In 1957 he received the MVP award and led the Tokyo Giants to the Japan World Series title. Today, he still holds the highest batting average ever for a Giant. Wally went on to play for and manage the Chunichi Dragons, and succeeded as the first foreign manager to win the Central League title. Beating the Giants, who had previously won nine consecutive titles, Wally once again triumphed and made history.


Meanwhile, Jane raised three children and made annual trips to Hawaii, filling family and friends’ requests for pearls. Through these purchases, she became educated in pearls and developed an expert eye for quality and prices. In 1963 Jane decided to turn her "hobby" into a business. Armed with her entrepreneurial savvy that had evolved from her teenage years managing a soda fountain and afterwards, attending Honolulu Business College, Jane and Wally founded Yonamine Pearls in 1963. Her natural charisma and passion for the business enabled her to understand the needs of, and effectively serve our valued clientele.


On July 19, 1994 Wally was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. Four years later in 1998, he received honors from the Emperor of Japan for his contributions as a professional athlete, and for bridging relations between the United States and Japan after World War II. Wally still maintains the record in Japan for his 38 consecutive years in uniform.


Fifty years later Yonamine Pearls is still going strong. Jane, together with her daughter-in-law, Lynda Yonamine and expert staff, welcome everyone into her "living room" and continue to host visiting royalty, presidents, diplomats, and many famous names in sports, film and the corporate world.


After 55 years, we have decided to close our store on April 6th, 2019.

We would like sincerely thank you again for your many years of support and hope you will wear your pearls in good health and happiness.