1904: The name was changed from the Mitsui Family's Echigoya to Mitsukoshi Gofukuten Co., Ltd. Osuke Hibi became its first senior managing director and went on to establish the company as Japan's first department store. Our store should continually increase its variety of commodities, much like the department stores now prevailing in the US.
  • 1673: Echigoya, a kimono fabrics dealer, is founded in Edo Honcho (present-day Tokyo) by Takatoshi Mitsui.
  • 1680: The Palace of Versailles is completed.
  • 1683: The store moves to Surugacho (the site of our present Head Store) and takes a new approach by selling merchandise for cash at an exact ticketed price without reductions or bargaining, which were the more prevalent means of conducting business at the time.
  • 1687: England's Sir Isaac Newton discovers the law of gravitation.
  • 1704: The patriarch of the Iwataya Nakamuta family, Koemon Kawano, opens the medicine shop
  • 1716: The Kangxi Dictionary is completed in Qing Dynasty China.
  • 1754: Koemon Nakamuta opens the kimono fabric shop "Beniya."
  • 1760-1840: The Industrial Revolution takes place.
  • 1800's first half: Hokusai Katsushika creates many works as a famous ukiyo-e artist
  • 1865: Austria's Gregor Mendel discovers the laws of heredity.


  • 1872: America's Thomas Edison invents the galvanic storage battery.
  • 1872: Founder Toshichi Imai forms Marui-Imai in what is now Sapporo City, Hokkaido.
  • 1886: Kosuge Tanji opens the Iseya Tanji Kimono Store in Kanda, Tokyo. At the time, Hatago-cho in Kanda was a burgeoning commercial district situated close to the society of geisha and was seen as no place to establish a fabric store. Tanji adopted a policy of “cash price with no markdowns,” and his guiding principle was to run an ethical business without speculative pursuit of profit.
  • 1896: The first Summer Olympics are held in Athens, Greece.
  • 1901: The first Nobel Prizes are awarded.


  • 1914: A new building to house the Head Store in Nihombashi is completed. This new structure brought the concept of the department store into a new era. The now famous massive lion statues that flank the store's entrance soon became a landmark for shoppers, as did Japan's first escalator inside its main entrance.
  • 1916: Marui-Imai Department Store opens.
  • 1920: Japan's first professional baseball team is founded.
  • 1923: Iwataya takes advantage of the opening of the express railway line between Fukuoka and Kurume to hold a traveling exhibition at the Maruyoshi restaurant in Kurume. This is the start of Iwataya's traveling sales.
  • 1925: Charlie Chaplin's "The Gold Rush" is a worldwide hit.


  • 1927: Mitsukoshi Hall (now Mitsukoshi Theater) opens at the Nihombashi Head Store and hosts Japan's first fashion show.
  • 1930: The Ginza Store opens. The Nihombashi Head Store begins serving special lunches for children at its restaurant.
  • 1932: The Mitsukoshi-mae subway station opens and is connected to the basement floor of the Nihombashi Head Store. The Sapporo Store opens.
  • 1933: New addition opens.
  • 1933: Main Store opens in Shinjuku, Tokyo. A banquet was held for guests and long-term clients after a ceremony was held to commemorate the store's completion before the tomb of Kosuge Tanji I at the Nippori Hongyo Temple. The first day the store opened, it was extremely crowded and a contemporary periodical reported, “The actual count of visitors was 130,000 people on the opening day.” The Shinjuku department store continued to fill to capacity with visitors day after day.
  • 1936: Tenjin location opens as Kyushu's first terminal department store.
  • 1952: Akira Kurosawa wins the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
  • 1953: First television broadcasts
  • 1960: A statue of an angel is installed in the central hall of the Nihombashi Head Store, intended to represent sincerity.
  • 1964: Tokyo hosts the Summer Olympics.
  • 1969: America's Apollo 11 mission lands on the surface of the moon.
  • 1968: Men’s Annex opens at Shinjuku store. Kosuge Tanji III decided that the theme of the new annex should be the “Men’s Annex” based on the fact that men were beginning to take an interest in fashion and Shinjuku’s increasing reputation as a fashion center and mecca for the young. This was acclaimed as the first attempt at a men’s department in not just Japan but the rest of Asia as well.
  • 1971: The first overseas store, Paris Mitsukoshi opens.
  • 1972: First overseas store opens in Singapore.
  • 1974: The character "Hello Kitty" is designed and launched.
  • 1975: Rome Mitsukoshi opens.
  • 1986: Prince Charles and Princess Diana visit the Nihombashi Head Store.


  • 1990: The Isetan KLCC store opens.
  • 1991: Marui Park Tower is completed. The first Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Store opens in Taipei.
  • 1992: Isetan Bangkok opens.
  • 1993: First Chinese store opens in Tianjin.
  • 1993: Japan's professional association football league, the J.League, is formed.
  • 1994: Isetan's corporate philosophy, the "Isetan Way" is formulated. To put it into practice, a "Workplace Pledge" campaign is launched.
  • 1994: Nelson Mandela is elected President of South Africa.
  • 1996: The Mitsukoshi website is launched. Isetan revolutionizes "Okaiba"
  • 1997: The JR Kyoto Isetan store opens.
  • 2002: Japan and South Korea jointly host the FIFA World Cup.
  • 2003: The remodeled Men’s Annex opens in the Shinjuku store. The entire store was remodeled for the first time in the 35 years since the Men’s Annex first opened in 1968. As Isetan celebrated the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Shinjuku store, the name was changed from Men’s New Annex to ISETAN MEN’S  to emphasize men’s tastes and fashions of the highest class worldwide. Isetan’s goal is to attract male clientele with discriminating taste and provide them with an enjoyable shopping experience.
  • 2004: Mitsukoshi, Ltd. celebrates its 100th anniversary. The new building of the Mitsukoshi Main Store in Nihombashi opens. Grand opening of the new Iwataya Head Store
  • 2008: Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. is established through the business integration of Mitsukoshi & Isetan.

“Interfacing with Excellence” We aim to become the world’s foremost retail services group with high profitability and sustained growth.