In order to attain that technology, another product had to be developed first which would provide the company with the necessary funds: PrintGocco 1 (度恰扁客契姻奕, Purinto Gokko), a printer with which users themselves became printers at home. The Japanese word gokko (玫秉玟) can be freely translated with “make-believe play”, which describes the print method of this curious device quite well. 2
The development of the stroboscopic flash for the production of the master foil was used to develop a compact printer that could even be used by users who didn’t have any knowledge of the printing sector to reproduce small formats up to B6. Immediately after launching in 1977, PrintGocco experienced a downright explosion of sales, as the seasonal Japanese tradition of sending New Year’s greetings at the end of the year could now be handled at home with PrintGocco. When the product was discontinued in 1990, it was estimated that about one-third of Japanese households owned a PrintGocco and 10 million units were sold until 2008. 3
Respect for the RISO Kagaku Corporation increased dramatically and the company finally had the resources to develop its fully automatic stencil printer. In those days, the durability of an office printer was established to be one million pages, a benchmark that also applied to the risographs that were to be developed. In 1980, the company unveiled a revolutionary master unit and a printer, FX7200 and AP7200. It was the first stencil printer system incorporating microcomputer that could sense light and is based on the core principles of the risograph’s stencil printing while also incorporating the technologies for automatic ink feeding, high-speed paper feeding and computer-operated controls. The device gained an excellent reputation in the industry. Schools, government and private offices throughout Japan were soon using the machine.