About us | History

Under the name Sakura Finetek, we have been paving the way in laboratory solutions since 1871. Since that time, Sakura has continued to put well-thought-out products on the market that reduce specimen turnaround times whilst providing users with unparalleled quality. It is this perseverance that has given us a clear understanding of technology, quality, reliability, value for money and our customers’ requirements. Still a family owned and privately held company, we utilise our ever-growing understanding and rich history in everything we do to empower pathology professionals to deliver a fast and accurate cancer diagnosis to optimise treatment succes. From anticipating technology and market innovations to developing reliable products and services that meet our customers’ needs. Because knowing you have cancer is one thing, but not knowing is even worse.

The starting point

Our history begins in Japan’s Edo era with Kyuzaemon Matsumoto, who started a pharmaceutical warehouse in 1596. At that time, the company was known as Iwashiya Matsumoto Kyuzaemon. Since the Edo era a vast number of pharmaceutical companies had used the Iwashiya name as their trade name. Somewhat confusing to the people of Japan, as “Iwashiya” typically means “fish merchant”.

In the early Meiji era of 1871, Gihei Matsumoto formed a separate medical equipment division of Iwashiya, establishing it officially as the Sakura Group. In 1903, to further distinguish themselves from other companies, Sakura changed their company trademark to a sakura (cherry blossom). Quite a useful alteration, as Sakura could build on their strong new company image of Japan’s national flower. Sakura became widely known and trusted amongst the people of Japan and beyond.

Making our mark

Over the next 90 years, Sakura continued to manufacture an array of medical equipment, including the first Japanese microscope. In 1962, the company name was changed again to Sakura Finetechnical Co., Ltd.

Sakura is the original manufacturer of the Tissue-Tek®, Cyto-Tek®, Tissue-Tek VIP® and Tissue-Tek Xpress® products that have become industry standards throughout the years. This line of prestigious products also includes the Tissue-Tek® Accu-Edge® Blade Systems, Tissue-Tek® Uni-Cassette® Systems and Tissue-Tek® Paraform® brands.

Spreading out

Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc. was established in the United States in 1986. And in 1994 the company acquired the histology and cytology product lines of Miles Inc. It was then that Sakura Finetek Europe was set up as an independent organisation, reporting to Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc.

To this day, we at Sakura Finetek Europe have made it our mission to distribute products through our network of more than 60 Sakura sales entities and distributors to over 100 countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. Our organisation continues to develop, professionalise and grow, all whilst we maintain our position as a trustworthy and valuable partner in pathology.

With established sales channels in over 165 countries, Sakura’s global strategy of worldwide representation remains strong. A strategy that guarantees our customers premium service and support. 

A trustworthy partner

At Sakura Finetek Europe B.V. we are always on the lookout for European partners with whom we can collaborate on new product development and/or OEM manufacturing. Strategic alliances on major projects, joint ventures with leading companies and acquisitions are three tools we use to ensure that Sakura is always able to respond to market needs. Our goals at Sakura Finetek Europe B.V. are clear: to ensure that Sakura remains a stable, successful, customer-oriented company, and to uphold our company values of sincerity and harmony.

Continuous innovation

First microscope for Japanese market
prior to Nikon and Olympus


First disposable cassette:
Tissue-Tek® Uni-Cassette®


First fully enclosed tissue processor:
Tissue-Tek VIP®


First automated film coverslipper:
Tissue-Tek® SCA Coverslipper


Sakura Finetek Europe B.V.


First rapid tissue processor:
Tissue-Tek Xpress®, offering a shorter turnaround time by a continuous workflow


First automated embedding system:
Tissue-Tek AutoTEC® a120


First hybrid digital microscope, offering
live imaging and scanning: VisionTek®


Introduction of Sakura Services


Advanced staining system:
Introducing Tissue-Tek Genie® in the USA


First robotic microtomy system:
Tissue-Tek SmartSection®