The first microscope manufactured at Olympus was called the Asahi.
Released in March 1920, the Asahi was made by Takachiho Seisakusho, the forerunner of the present Olympus.
Priced at ¥ 125 yen (about ¥ 1.25 million yen or US$12,000 in the present currency), the model was considered a highly valuable industrial product worthy of its price. It was the only model made of gunmetal, a zinc-bronze alloy used for cannon barrels.
The Asahi was marketed under the Tokiwa brand, not Olympus. It was named after Tokiwa Shokai, the firm that Takeshi Yamashita, the founder of Takachiho, had been previously associated with. Tokiwa Shokai held a stake in Takachiho Seisakusho and was also responsible for the marketing of Takachiho products at that time. The Olympus brand, which was to replace Tokiwa, was launched in the following year.