Former Home of Late Eiichi Shibusawa Returns to Tokyo; Shibusawa Known as “Father of Japanese Capitalism”

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A former house of Eiichi Shibusawa is seen in Koto Ward, Tokyo.

A former domicile of pioneering industrialist Eiichi Shibusawa (1840-1931) — known as the “father of Japanese capitalism”— has been returned to Koto Ward, Tokyo, after previously being relocated to Aomori Prefecture.

Shimizu Corp., which manages the property, plans to open the house to the public next year, coinciding with the issuance of a new ¥10,000 banknote depicting Shibusawa next July.

The two-story wooden building has a total floor space of about 1,200 square meters. The house, which was built by Shimizu’s second head, Kisuke Shimizu, at Shibusawa’s request, was completed in 1878.

The stairway to the second floor has a vaulted ceiling. The building was continually extended following its completion, connecting to a Western-style house completed in the early Showa period (1826-1989).

After World War II, the structure was nationalized and served as the official residence of the finance minister and as a government conference space. In 1991, the building was purchased by an individual close to the Shibusawa family and relocated to the town of Rokunohe in Aomori Prefecture.

Shibusawa was involved in the management of Shimizu, and since the house is the only surviving building developed by Kisuke, the company purchased it in 2018 and has worked to relocate it to the company’s research and development center in Koto Ward.