I received a letter from a Kenshin fan in Australia.
He wanted to obtain a Shinsen-gumi Company uniform. As you know, Daimaru sold the uniforms 136 years ago.
Daimaru is a large-scale department store in Japan at present.
The president of Daimaru is Mr. Okuda who is a brother of the president of Toyota Motor Corp.
Now, of course, Daimaru at present does not sell Shinsen-gumi Company uniforms.
What is a department store?
It means a large-scale store for retails that deals with every kind of goods.
In Japan, department stores usually have special customers. They are called "Otokui-sama."
Otokui-sama includes companies and families. They are not always "Retails."
Here I show an outline of Japanese department store. Formerly I studied history of Japanese department stores.
As for department store, you may think about Harrods in London or Kaufhof in Frankfurt.
Perhaps department stores in Japan are different from Harrods or Kaufhof.
Of course, Mitsukoshi, which is the oldest department store in Japan, deals with goods of Harrods.
As you know, in Japan, the origin of most of large-scale department stores is Japanese-style "Kimono" clothes stores in Edo Era.
They were called "Gofuku-ten." "Gofuku" means "Kimono." "Ten" means "store."
For example, Mitsukoshi's origin is Mitsui Gofuku-ten.
Matsuzakaya's origin is Ito Gofuku-ten.
Takashimaya's origin is Iida Gofuku-ten.
Daimaru was called as Daimaru. It was managed by "Shimomura Family."
Mitsui Family managed several enterprises in Edo Era. Especially the family was famous for Mitsui Bank. (It was called Mitsui Gumi or Mitsui Ryougae-ten.) After Meiji Era, Mitsui Family separated Mitsukoshi from their enterprises.
Mitsukoshi was re-established as the first department store in Japan.
As you know, before World War II, Mitsukoshi had about 20 branches all over the world. Mitsukoshi branches sold goods made in Japan and China as a part of Mitsui Zaibatsu. As you know, Japan was defeated in World War II. Mitsukoshi lost its branches.
After World War II, Mitsukoshi had a dictator "Shigeru Okada." He ran out Mr. Yoshiaki Sakakura. Former President Okada favored and supported a designer Michi Takehisa. Therefore Mitsukoshi did worse. On the other hand, Seiji Tsutsumi employed Yoshiaki Sakakura as President of Seibu Department Store.
Mitsukoshi was in the red in 1980s. Mitsui Group (Former Mitsui Zaibatsu) was afraid of the failure of Mitsukoshi. At last Mitsui Group dismissed Shigeru Okada.
Thereafter Mr. Yoshiaki Sakakura came back to Mitsukoshi as President.
Mitsukoshi had several branches in the red. Mitsikoshi lost Kobe branch. It also has a plan of disposal by sale of Shinjuku Branch.
Mitsukoshi's head store is located at Nihonbashi, Tokyo. It is near Kabuto-cho stock exchange and Tokyo Subway "Mitsukoshi-mae" station.
Mitsukoshi has Osaka branch. It is located at Kouraibashi, Kitahama, Osaka. It is near Kitahama stock exchange. The building was damaged at the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995. Therefore the area of the department was decreased.
Thereafter Mitsukoshi wanted to found the new Osaka branch at Umeda. Then "Yodobashi Camera" in Shinjuku, a category-killer discounter broke the plan.
Of course, Osaka people got angry.
On the other hand, Iida Family had only a department store enterprise in Edo Era. Iida Family has managed Takashimaya.
Takashimaya has branches in Nihonbashi (Tokyo), Shinjuku-South Exit (Tokyo), Yokohama and Shijou-Kawaramachi (Kyoto).
Royal family sometimes went to the Nihonbashi branch.
Its head store is located at Nanba, Osaka. In 1996, Takashimaya clerks violated the Commercial Law.
Shimomura Family had only a department store enterprise in Edo Era. They have managed "Daimaru." Daimaru has branches in Tokyo-Yaesu Exit, Osaka-Umeda Shijou-Oomiya (Kyoto) and Motomachi (Kobe).
Its head store is located at Shinsai-bashi, Osaka. At present Shimomura Family does not have the post of President.
Daimaru is good at suits for men.
Ito Family lived in Nagoya. Ito Family has managed "Matsuzakaya."
Matsuzakaya has branches in JR Nagoya Station, Ueno Hirokouji (Tokyo), Ginza (Tokyo), Yokohama-Isezakichou and Tenma-bashi (Osaka).
Its head store is located at Sakae, Nagoya. It consists of three large buildings.
However Nagoya Branch of Mitsukoshi near Matsuzakaya Head Store is doing very well.
In Nagoya, department stores are called 4M. 4M means "M"istukoshi, "M"atsuzakaya, "M"eitetsu-hyakkaten and "M"aruei. Formerly 4M was called 3M1N. Formerly there was a department store called "Oriental Nakamuraya." It was purchased by Mitsukoshi. Therefore Nagoya-Mitsukoshi has small branches of Nakamuraya. Especially Hoshigaoka branch is a middle-sized one near Nagoya University.
Kosuge Family managed Isetan. Isetan means Ise-ya Tanji. The presidents of Isetan called Tanji Iseya had managed Isetan. Isetan is a very famous department store in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Isetan has been good at fashinable clothes for women. Its advertisement is very famous for Kouichi Tsuchiya's copy.
Its branches is located at Sagamihara, Tachikawa, and Kichijouji.
Recently JR West invited Isetan to Kyoto Station. At last JR Kyoto Isetan Department Store was founded at Kyoto Station.
|Other Department Stores from Gofuku-ten|
|1. Matsuya||Ginza (Tokyo), Asakusa (Tokyo)|
|2. Maruei||Sakae (Nagoya)|
|3. Shirokiya||Nihonbashi (Tokyo)|
It was purchased by Tokyu Department Store.
|4. Sogo||(Head)Shinsai-bashi (Osaka)|
(Branches)Chiba, Yokohama, Nara, Sannomiya (Kobe), Hiroshima and Yurakuchou (Tokyo)
|5. Okadaya More's||Yokohama, Kawasaki|
|Department Stores from Railway Companies|
|1. Tokyu||Head store is located at Shibuya. Thereafter Tokyu made Tokyu Hands group. Tokyu Hands have a lot of branches in Japan.|
|2. Seibu||It is called Saison Group.|
It was separated from Seibu Railway Group at present.
Head store is located at Ikebukuro. Thereafter Seibu made Parco group and Loft group.
Seibu has a lot of branches in Japan.
|3. Odakyu||Head store is located at Shinjuku.|
|4. Keio||Head store is located at Shinjuku.|
|5. Tobu||Nedu Family managed the store. Great Manager Kan Yamanaka was employed as President. Yamanaka built a large-scale main office at Ikebukuro. Tobu got very popular.|
|6. Meitesu||Head store is located at Nagoya Station.|
|7. Hankyu||Head store is located at Umeda (Osaka). In the beginning of Showa Era, it was a small one. Thereafter it grew up into a large-scale store. On the other hand, Hankyu has Yurakuchou (Tokyo) branch and Shijou-Kawaramachi (Kyoto) branch. Hankyu Group made Hankyu Book First. It is a kind of book store. Hankyu Book First has Shibuya branch.|
|8. Hanshin||Head store is located at Umeda (Osaka). It has chosen Store Image Persons. Formerly Eriko Kusuda, a caster, and Yukie Nishimura, a pianist was chosen. At present, Katsuya Nomura, a baseball manager is Store Image Person.|
|9. Sanyou||Head store is located at Himeji. Sanyou Railway was a local railway in Himeji (Hyogo Prefecture). At present Sanyou and Hanshin have a limited express between Himeji and Umeda.|
|10. Keihan||Head store is locted at Moriguchi (Osaka).|
|11. Kintetsu||Abeno (Osaka), Uehonmachi (Osaka). Kintestu has small branches at Kyoto Station and Kichijouji (Tokyo). Kintetsu is the largest railway company in Japan.|