140-yr old house to be relocated to Tokyo

The 140+ year old former home of Viscount Shibusawa Eiichi in Aomori Prefecture is begin relocated back to Tokyo. Shibusawa Eiichi (1840-1931) was considered the father of Japanese capitalism and founded or supported over five hundred companies over his lifetime, including The First National Bank (now Mizuho Bank).

Shibusawa purchased the merchant house in 1876. It was previously the grand home of a rice wholesaler and located near Kiyosumi Garden in Koto-ku, Tokyo. With the help of Shimizu Kisuke, the son-in-law of the founder of Shimizu Corporation, the house was shifted to Shibusawa’s main residence in the Mita Tsunamachi district in Minato-ku where it was rebuilt along with several alterations and western-style extensions.

As part of the postwar dissolution of the zaibatsu conglomerates, the house fell under the ownership of the national government. In 1990, a former employee of Shibusawa and founder of the Komaki Onsen (now Hoshino Resort Aomoriya), bought the house at a government auction and relocated it to the Komaki Onsen the following year.

The previous owner, an Aomori-based tourism and hospitality company, sold the house for removal to construction giant Shimizu Corporation. The house will be disassembled by March 2019 and relocated to an undisclosed location in Tokyo at a later, unknown date.

The house in its former location in the Mita Tsunamachi area in Minato-ku, Tokyo, in 1989.

Source: Daily Tohoku, September 8, 2018.