Konica traces its history back to 1873 (pre-dating Kodak in the photography business) when pharmacist Rokusaburo Sugiura began selling photographic materials at his store in Konishiya Rokubē, the biggest pharmacy trader in Tokyo at that time.
In 1878, Rokusaburō launched a new shop, Konishi Honten (Konishi Main Shop) in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo.
In 1882, Konishi launched a project to produce photography related materials in Japan: those products were imported at that time.
In 1902, Konishi began to sell the “Cherry Portable Camera” (チェリー手提用暗函), the first Japanese produced end-user oriented camera. New products were released respectively, and Konishi Main Shop became the leading camera company in Japan.
In 1921, old Konishi had his elder son succeed to the family and thus company head with the name, and in this occasion Konishi Honten was turned into a company Konishiroku Honten. The name Konishiroku was taken from the abbreviation of their names, Konishi Rokuemon.
Konishiroku released their "Konica I" type camera in 1948.
Konica merged with Japanese peer Minolta in 2003, with the new company named Konica Minolta, until the sale of Konica Minolta's Photo Imaging unit to Sony in 2006.
After the merge of the photo imaging unit with Sony—in March 2006—the merged company closed down its photo imaging division, which produced color film, color paper, photo chemicals and minilab machines.