Result
合名会社三井呉服店より株式会社三越呉服店営業譲受広告

Transfer of Business from Mitsui Gofukuten General Partnership Corp. to Mitsui Gofukuten Co., Ltd. (Printed Material for Related Stores and Companies in Tokyo) 合名会社三井呉服店より株式会社三越呉服店営業譲受広告

In the Edo period, the Mitsui Echigoya dry-goods shops, which sold kimono fabrics, were so prosperous that they were included in depictions of famous places in Edo. Steep inflation in the closing years of the Tokugawa shogunate, followed by the collapse of the shogunate and its system of government, however, pushed the Mitsui Echigoya into a severe financial crisis. In 1872, Inoue Kaoru and other senior statesmen in the new Meiji government, wanting the Mitsui clan to concentrate on establishing a bank, advised it to separate the poorly performing dry-good shops from the Mitsui businesses. The Mitsui reluctantly complied. To divest itself of its dry-goods operations, long the family business, it established a new branch family, the Mitsukoshi, a name coined by combining mitsu (from Mitsui) and koshi (an alternative reading of the echi in Echigoya). The Mitsui then transferred its dry-goods business to the Mitsukoshi family. In 1886, Mitsukoshi added a Western-style clothing department to its shops, responding to the shift to Western dress by senior government officials. The following year, it was allowed to acquire the government’s Shinmachi Silk Spinning Mill in Gunma. Responding to new types of demand, it was reforming and upgrading its operations. In 1893, the Mitsukoshi family was permitted to resume the Mitsui surname, and the Mitsukoshi shops returned to the Mitsui family operations with the creation of the Gomei Kaisha Mitsui Gofukuten (a general partnership, a form of corporation no longer in use). In 1904, however, the Mitsui Gofukuten was a small operation compared with the Mitsui Bank, Mitsui Bussan (its trading company), and Mitsui Mining. In the process of reorganizing the Mitsui family enterprises, the dry-goods business was once again spun off. It was made independent as the Mitsukoshi Gofukuten Co., Ltd. The document shown here announces the transfer of the business from Mitsui to Mitsukoshi to customers, suppliers, and other trading partners. This announcement also promises improved operations for greater convenience for customers. The new entity was, in fact, committed to realizing a novel business format being used in the United States: the department store. The announcement has gone down in history as Japan’s first “Department Store Declaration.”
Collection of
Edo-Tokyo Museum
Title
Transfer of Business from Mitsui Gofukuten General Partnership Corp. to Mitsui Gofukuten Co., Ltd. (Printed Material for Related Stores and Companies in Tokyo)
Collection ID
89205569
Category
Printed Material
Creation Date
1904 20世紀 
Size
18.4cm x 55cm
Edo-Tokyo Museum Digital Archives
https://www.edohakuarchives.jp/detail-4004.html

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