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the history of Nakamise
the history of Nakamise
About Nakamise
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Beginning of Nakamise
Nakamise is one of the oldest shopping centers in Japan. Since Shogun Tokugawa (Ieyasu) established Edo Shogunate, the population in Edo (old capital city, now Tokyo) grew as well as visitors to Sensoji Temple.
In 1688 - 1735, those neighbors who performed receiving and serving visitors in Sensoji Temple were given special right to open their shops in the approach to the temple. This was said to be the beginning of Nakamise.
In Edo Era, 20 tea houses located between Dempoin and Niousan-side, were called "Yakudana", and shops located near Kaminari-mon, were called "Hiramise", which were selling toys, sweets, snacks, and souvenirs. The number of shops increased and it became one of the best ordered temple towns in Japan.
In the political change of Meiji Restoration, lands belonged to temples were confiscated by the new government, and Sensojiユs land became under the control of Tokyo metropolitan government. The government made five parks and enacted laws on the parks, depriving Nakamise merchants of their privilege to do business.
In May 1885, Tokyo metropolitan government ordered all Nakamise merchants to leave and in December rebuilt Western-style brick shops ミ modern Nakamise was born.
Nakamise after Taisho Era
Red brick Nakamise with the atmosphere of Meiji Eraユs culture was destroyed by the Great Earthquake of 1923. In 1925, it was rebuilt with reinforced concrete, having Momoyama-style, vermilion-lacquered appearance, which made the shopping center magnificent. Although all its interiors were destroyed again by the fire of World War II in 1945, Nakamise local people rebuilt it soon. In Fall 1985, the electric signboards and paving stones were renewed, a variety of events were held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding. In April 1992, under the advice of Prof. Ikuo Hirayama, Tokyo Art University, pictures of Asakusa scenes, called "Asakusa picture scroll" were painted on all the front shutters of Nakamise.
In November 1992, "Refreshing Project", repainting of buildings and sign boards was completed. Two years later, in October 1994, getting sponsorship of Tokyo Electric Co., all electric-light poles in this area were buried under the ground. In December 1996, the police gave Nakamise ヤA Letter of Appreciationユ for having installed cameras for prevention of crimes.
Present Nakamise
ow there are 54 shops in East side, 35 shops in West side; 89 shops in total. The length of Nakamise main street is approximately 250m(approx. 274 yards). The beauty of integrated electric sign boards and seasonal decorations against stone pavement made visitors from overseas who just went through Kaminari-mon exclaime "Wonderful!" many times.