Dating back to 1683 as a kimono shop for the masses, Mitsukoshi, which is Japan's oldest department store, built the present main store building in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, in 1935. A pair of lion statues are found at the front entrance of this old building as shown in the picture. Hibi Osuke, who was the general manager of this department store at that time, made an on-site inspection in the UK, and he was captivated by the four lion statues in Trafalgar Square. He came to think that lion statues were befitting his new main store building in Tokyo, thus a pair of lion statues were newly designed and casted there under his order. These lions are regarded as symbols of Mitsukosi nowadays, as they made many replicas for their many branch stores across Japan based on these original statues in the picture.
In this connection, during the Second World War, these precious lions were donated to the Imperial army though, they fortunately escaped from melting, and returned to the original position as shown in the picture.
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