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Founded by Takatoshi Mitsui (1622-1694), who was born a second son of a shop
in Matsuzaka, called Echigoya (???) in today's Mie prefecture. The shop was
oroginally selling miso, liquor along side with pornshop. Later, the shop
built a branch in Edo (today's Tokyo).
He moved to Tokyo when he was 14 years old followed his older brother. Since
he was very young, he had shown outstanding business talent. But because of
that, his brother sent him back to Mie when he was 28 years old. He waited
for 24 years until his older brother passed away. He took over Echigoya and
opened the new branch as large Gofukuya (means Kimono shop) at Nihon-Bashi,
the heart of Tokyo, in 1673. Later the Gofukuya devision separated from
Mitsui, and called Mitsukoshi.
Traditionally, Gofukuya's business style was Order Made style; visit the
customer's house (Normally high social class or rich business people), take
order, then create products. The accountancy was Margin transaction. But
Mitsui started producing products first, and then sold at the shop exchange
with cash. It was new method in those days' Japanese market.
In 1683, Takatoshi opened exchange shop in Tokyo and soon it became Edo
government's Purveyor. At the time, Edo government had business deal at
Osaka, selling tax crops or other material for land tax, and then sent money
to Tokyo. But money transportation was always risky, so the exchange shop
In July 1, 1876, first Japanese Private bank, Mitsui bank (today's Mitsui
Sumitomo bank was started. Its president was Takashi Masuda (1848-1938)