Mitsukoshi Department Store, c. 1926-1960.



1930s1950sArchitectureCommerceHistoric District
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Mitsukoshi department store, postcard sleeve, c. 1950.

Mitsukoshi department store, postcard sleeve, c. 1950.

Mitsukoshi department store, Nihonbashi, main entrance, c. 1960.

Mitsukoshi department store, Nihonbashi, main entrance, c. 1960.

See also:
Mitsukoshi Department Store, c. 1903-1923
Roof Garden, Mitsukoshi Department Store, c. 1930

Mitsukoshi department store, street view, c. 1930.

Mitsukoshi department store, street view, c. 1930.

The 1923 Great Kanto earthquake proved to be a turning point for the fortunes of Tokyo’s great department stores: Mitsukoshi, Shirokiya, Matsuya and Matsuzakaya. Japanese department stores originally appeared as a high-status, high-price, full-service retailer. Because many general retail stores were destroyed in the earthquake and resulting fire, the department stores were able fill the vacuum for everyday necessities. Doing so also allowed Mitsukoshi (and the other department stores) to expand its customer base beyond catering almost exclusively to the whims and fancies of the well-to-do, as had been the earlier business strategy.

Mitsukoshi department store, center court, c. 1960.

Mitsukoshi department store, center court, c. 1960.

Three years later (1926), with the rebuilding of the Nihonbashi flagship store completed, Mitsukoshi boasted 61 departments, including radio, wedding, shawls, furushiki wrapping cloth. By 1929, the flagship store had 89 departments.

Post-war Mitsukoshi included a theater, where bunraku puppet plays were performed. The Mitsukoshi Gekijo was converted from a modest-sized recital hall into a 542-seat playhouse, suitable for Kabuki and other genres.

In August 2007, it was announced that Mitsukoshi would merge into Isetan, another major department store in Japan, to become Japan’s largest department store group.

 

Mitsukoshi Department Store, interior, c. 1960.

Mitsukoshi department store, interior, c. 1960.

Mitsukoshi department store, interior, c. 1970.

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3 thoughts below on “Mitsukoshi Department Store, c. 1926-1960.

  1. Pingback: Mitsukoshi Department Store, c. 1903-1923. | Old Tokyo

  2. Pingback: Isetan Department Store, Shinjuku, c. 1935. | Old Tokyo

  3. Pingback: Roof Garden, Mitsukoshi Department Store, Tokyo, c. 1930. | Old Tokyo

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