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The roots and future of Nihombashi Mitsukoshi

Visit the kimono salon at Nihombashi Mitsukoshi for an insight into the history of this traditional piece of Japanese clothing, from its traditional roots in 1673 to the present modern day


The kimono salon
Those looking to experience the founding spirit of Nihombashi Mitsukoshi would do well to visit the kimono section of the store. The department store started as a kimono dealer in 1673 under the name Echigoya. in the Nihombashi area where the store now stands today. Much may have changed during the intervening years – both in store and in the surrounding Nihombashi area – but the importance of the kimono remains paramount. Visitors may be surprised to find that, unlike the traditional national dress of many countries, the kimono is still worn outside of ceremonies and is very much in fashion, with new designs for men and women arriving in store all the time. So, whether your tastes are traditional or contemporary, bold or cute, you’ll find something to suit.

The philosophy behind the kimono 
Customers new to the kimono are sometimes understandably unsure where to start, and while there are simplified kimono sets that are easier to wear marketed to tourists, Nihombashi Mitsukoshi likes to think their customers appreciate the genuine article. Their philosophy is that if someone can learn how to tie a necktie, then they can learn how to tie the obi belt that closes the kimono. More importantly, it’s in learning how to dress in kimono that gives the wearer an appreciation of the garment, as well as a sense of individuality. Don’t be intimidated by the kimono, allow the friendly staff to share the experience of the kimono that remains unchanged at the heart of Nihombashi Mitsukoshi.

The iconic figure
Kira Ozawa is one of the most iconic figures in Nihombashi Mitsukoshi, and has seen generation after generation of the same family pass through the kimono section. He takes pride in being able to play his own part in a family by selecting kimono that punctuate important celebrations and significant moments, as well as safeguarding the kimono’s place in fashion. Beyond the store itself, it is people like Akira Ozawa who make Nihombashi Mitsukoshi the institution it is. The spirit and traditions of Mitsukoshi are passed along to the next generation of staff, who will one day meet the needs of the children and grandchildren of his current clients.

Location: Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Building 4F, Kimono Salon

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