Mitsui Echigoya

Kidai Shoran (detail) © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Asian Art Museum, National Museums in Berlin), former collection of Hans-Joachim and Inge Küster, gift of Manfred Bohms 2002, photography: Tadao Kodaira

This was the largest textile store in Edo, founded by Mitsui Takatoshi, a native of Matsusaka in Ise Province. The store adopted a new business model of selling goods at a fixed price for cash instead of the conventional method of selling goods on credit, and also ran a successful money-changing operation. In 1904, Mitsui Echigoya became Mitsukoshi, Japan’s first department store, and the money-exchange business was developed into a bank. These early endeavors were the origin of the current Mitsui Group. The present-day Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store and the Mitsui Main Building are nationally designated Important Cultural Properties.

History of Mitsui (Mitsui Public Relations Committee)
Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store