In the 1950s, Henri and Tomoye Takahashi created the Takahashi Trading Company in San Fransisco. The business started out as sending care packages from the United States to post-war Japan. However, the business later focused on importing goods from Japan to the United States. In particular, they imported hand-crafted items (mingeihin) and children's toys from various rural prefectures in Japan. Eventually, the businesses imported artful Japanese wares that previously were never imported to America. Today, those items are highly collectible. In 1985, the couple established the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation to further develop and encourage an understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture, values and arts. The Foundation is the recipient of extremely high honors for promoting exports of Japanese hand-crafted items and toys to the U.S.; for promoting Japanese culture, history and arts in the U.S.; and for preserving and educating the public on the history and culture of Japanese Americans. See "Founders of Takahashi Charitable Foundation Receive Japan's Highest Award". NikkekiWest. Retrieved 2014-11-05.