Close History of Igeta, the Sumitomo Trademark

The Sumitomo trademark on a pass for entering and leaving the storehouse of a high-ranking samurai (Tempo era, 1830-1844)

Igeta, the Sumitomo trademark, is a diamond-shaped grid pattern representing the wooden frame of a well. It was originally used by Riemon Soga as the trademark of Izumiya, the copper-refining and coppersmithing business he established in Kyoto in 1590, to express “izumi” meaning a “spring” in Japanese with the symbol mark of a well.

The igeta motif had been widely used by merchants for their noren, the curtains traditionally placed at the entrance to business premises. To achieve differentiation from other igeta, Sumitomo devised an igeta trademark with unique dimensional proportions in 1913, which is used to this day.