Long-established Companies and War, Izumi Yume Town
Focusing on companies with long histories in Hiroshima, we will look at their wartime and post-war histories in the city of peace, Hiroshima. We will interview the company’s role and aspirations as a business enterprise, and uncover clues for Hiroshima’s future.
“Izumi” was established in1950. We asked GOTO Ikuo, manager of the General Affairs Department, about the steps that have been taken to contribute to the community as a general supermarket since the chaotic postwar period.
Contributing to a fulfilling life
When founder YAMANISHI Yoshimasa returned to Hiroshima six months after the end of the war, the area was a burnt-out plain. Ninoshima Island, which could not be seen from Hiroshima Station (Ninoshima is about three kilometers south of Hiroshima Port, and is a 20-minute ferry ride away from the sea), was visible so close to him that it even seemed reachable.
Yamanishi used 800 yen of his army retirement allowance to buy dried persimmons from a friend. He then opened a business at the black market in front of Hiroshima Station.
At that time, sweet things were rare treats, so it sold well.
Later, he grew his business mainly by selling clothing. It motivated him to see his customers satisfied, so he was very careful to make sure his customers had what they wanted. In the immediate post-war period when things were scarce, Yamanishi’s business was essential to the people in the community.
In 1961, he founded Izumi Corporation., and Izumi Hatchobori Store opened. It was the first general merchandise supermarket in the Chugoku/Shikoku region, with a clothing store on the first floor and a grocery store on the second floor. Izumi’s business philosophy is to deliver what customers want, to the person who wants it, at a fair price, and to deal with his customers one-by-one. In addition, the number of employees increased from 45, and contributed to the reconstruction of the region also in terms of employment.
Mr. GOTO Ikuo , Manager of the General Affairs Department
The retail industry is often referred as the fifth infrastructure. If supermarkets that handle daily necessities are not open, local residents will be hindered in many ways. In the wake of torrential rains in western Japan and the Kumamoto earthquake, we felt it was our mission to open our stores as quickly as possible, and all of our employees worked hard to do so.
Due to COVID-19, we were unable to supply enough items including masks, which was a frustrating experience for us. However, we have been able to play an important role in people’s lives by keeping our shops open.
Currently, we have shops from Hyogo Prefecture in the east to Kumamoto Prefecture in the west. This is an area that staffs can reach in half a day from Hiroshima. They go to get an idea of the customers, the employees and the atmosphere of the stores there.
“Contribute to affluent lifestyles through commerce under the motto of gratitude and trust”
Since Hiroshima is our starting point and hometown, we want to be firmly rooted in the community and conduct our business with sincerity.
Our business cards are made of recycled paper cranes (origami cranes dedicated to the Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park) to share our commitment to peace.
On the second floor of the head office, the history of the company is displayed with photos of Hiroshima citizens who stood up strongly to overcome the devastation of the atomic bombing. If you have the opportunity to visit us, please do not hesitate to take a look.
Izumi Head Office Izumi Museum (Open to the public)
This museum is located on the second floor of the Izumi Head Office. Along with the history of Izumi company, you can learn about the history of Hiroshima after the atomic bombing.
Address: 3-3-1 Futabanosato, Higashi ward, Hiroshima city
Opening hours: 10: 00- 18: 00
Closed: Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, and New Year holidays
In 1950, YAMANISHI Yoshimasa started “Yamanishi Shoten Co. Ltd.,” a wholesale clothing store, and then in 1961, he founded Izumi Corporation and opened the first general supermarket in Hatchobori, later renamed as Izumi Corporation (1980). It manages a large shopping center, “Yume Town,” a food supermarket “Yumemato,” and the shopping center “LECT.”
Introducing Peace Learning Projects
Learn about Hiroshima’s reconstruction experience
To introduce the experience of Hiroshima’s reconstruction: Rebirth from ruins, Volume I introduces the changes in the lives and rebuilding of the citizens after the atomic bombing.Learn about Hiroshima’s reconstruction experience
Learn about the efforts of Hiroshima Prefecture enterprises
Efforts of companies in the prefecture to contribute to the United Nations development goal of sustainable development(SDGs) is introduced.Learn about the efforts of Hiroshima Prefecture enterprises
Tags associated with this article