In 1675, it is told that a man by the name of Tozaemon Tamaya established a shop selling lenses for eye glasses. The name of the shop was called Tamaya Megane-ten.
It was during the Meiji Era (1868-1912), in 1901, that Tamaya Megane-ten was renamed as Tamaya Shoten and became a partnership company. Tamaya Shoten was the first Japanese company to import surveying equipment from overseas and to distribute them in Japan. It is also the first company to produce a surveying equipment (a pocket compass in its original form) in Japan. In 1894 Tamaya Shoten was licensed to make a ruler (a device with which to measure lengths) in its original form. By the end of the Meiji Era, Tamaya Shoten developed its own transit and level.
During the Taisho Era (1912-1926), Tamaya Shoten was making more and more surveying equipment in Japan, as opposed to importing finished products from abroad. It was making levels and theodolites, and by 1922 made the first sextant in Japan. In August 1901, Tamaya Shoten became a corporation.1955-1964: Tamaya manufactured tilting level TL-3, auto level SL-2, and transit ST-2. In 1960 Tamaya began manufacturing and selling Japan's first plumbline for dams.