On May 18, sporting company Mizuno Corporation announced plans to demolish their 94-year old former headquarters building in Osaka.
The historic building is currently occupied by the Mizuno Yodoyabashi store. That store will close its doors on June 30, 2021. The site forms part of a larger block redevelopment around Yodoyabashi Station that will see a 28-story high-rise built by 2025.
Founder Rihachi Mizuno (1884-1970) oversaw the building’s development in the 1920s. Mizuno was sent to Osaka and Kyoto at the age of 9 to start an apprenticeship. At the age of 22 he and his brother opened a sportswear store in Osaka’s Kita Ward. They began manufacturing baseball gloves and balls in 1913. Business boomed and by the 1920s ~ 1930s they had expanded to mainland China. The head office building was a testament to their rising success. It was Osaka’s 7th tallest building upon completion in 1927.
The 8-story reinforced concrete would serve as the Mizuno head office until 1992. It was then operated as one of their sporting goods stores.
The store originally featured roll-up advertising banners displayed on the exterior. This was relatively rare for its time.
Source: Kyodo, May 18, 2021.
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