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Iida Shinshichi III

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  • Born: 1852
  • Died: 1909
  • Other Names: 飯田直次郎 (Iida Naojirou), 飯田新兵衛 (Iida Shinbee)
  • Japanese: 飯田新七 (Iida Shinshichi)

Iida Shinshichi III was the third head of the Takashimaya business, which began as a secondhand clothing store in 1831, and later developed into a major department store chain.

He was the eldest son of Iida Shinshichi II and Iida Utako; his childhood name was Naojirô. He took on the name Shinshichi and ran the family business with the help of his four younger brothers, after inheriting it in 1878.

Shinshichi III has been described as "a Kyoto sophisticate with refined taste (tsûjin) and artistic sensibility."[1] He was actively involved in the city's artistic circles, and served as a juror for the biannual Kyoto Exposition. He also worked closely with a number of painters, who provided him with designs for tapestries and the like.

He continued his fathers' work of seeking high-end clientele, and in 1887, began to receive commissions for rugs, tapestries, and other ornamental textiles from the Imperial Household. That same year, he established an export division of the company, and received commissions to produce works to decorate the new Diet Building and Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, as well as for the stage curtain for Kabuki-za. He retired the following year, in 1888, passing on control of the company to his younger brother Tetsusaburô, who had already been heavily involved in the everyday operations of the firm since 1886. Taking on the name Shinbei, he remained involved in his retirement in maintaining or shaping the company's image and prestige.

References

  • Conant, Ellen. "Cut from Kyoto Cloth: Takeuchi Seihô and his Artistic Milieu." Impressions 33 (2012). pp75-76, 91.
  • "Iida Shinshichi (3-dai)." Digital-ban Nihon jinmei daijiten デジタル版 日本人名大辞典. Kodansha, 2009.
  1. Conant. p76.
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