The founder of this family business, Shinemon (Shinpachi) was born in 1704 (Houei Year 1) at Kayumi village, Matsuzaka, in the Ise country-side (present-day Mie prefecture). He was the sixth son of Tarobei Sugimoto. In 1717, when he was 14 years old, he accompanied priest Ryouzui of the Kyosei-temple, a branch of the Nishi Honganji Temple, to Kyoto for schooling. And through the Junshoji Temple, also a Nishi Honganji branch, he went on to serve as a trainee at the Kimono merchant shop Naraya Kanbei. Soon he advanced to become a purchase clerk with the merchant Naraya Yasubei, a relative of Kanbei. Eventually he was entrusted with the position of head of Naraya Yasubei’s branch shop, at Kisai, in Musashi county (present-day Saitama Prefecture).
Finally, when Shinemon was granted permission to open an independent shop, he founded his own Kimono shop under the style of “Naraya” in the neighborhood of Karasuma Shijo-sagaru, on August 5, 1743. The Sugimoto family has been celebrating this foundation day as the establishment of their own business (Yadoba-iri).
The founder often peddled his wares in Shimofusa (present-day northern Chiba prefecture) and Hitachi (present-day Ibaragi prefecture) districts, where he increased the number of new customers, and established a base of regular customers. His successor, Shinemon, established the first branch in the Kanto district at Sahara, Shimofusa. The third in line, Shinzaemon Hideakira, founded the Sakura branch in Shimofusa and established sales in the Kanto area. He also set out the marketing guidelines and traditional home regulations of Naraya for the future development of the business.
Every August 5, a number of special items and house heirlooms (Yadoba-iri goods) are displayed. These include a wooden tablet with the motto and regulations which is hung on the wall, a short guard sword for peddler’s travels, five items of the ancestor’s clothes worn while peddling wares on the Tokaido Road to Edo, a pannier with notebooks and ancient documents, an old rattle awarded in return for making a new rattle from the Asama shrine that houses the family’s ancestors’ Guardian Deity in Iinan gun, Ise no kuni (present-day Mie prefecture), as well as a tea cup received from Emperor Ninkou.
|Edo Era (1603-1868)|
|1704||The founder of the family business, Shinemon (Shinpachi) was born in 1704 (Houei Year 1) at Kayumi village, Matsuzaka, in the Ise countryside (present-day Mie prefecture).|
|1717||Shinemon the First started working as an apprentice for Kanbei of “Naraya,” a kimono business merchant.|
|August 5, 1743||Shinemon founded a kimono business under the style of “Naraya.”|
|Shinemon the Second opened an Edo branch in Sawara of Shimousa province (present-day northern Chiba prefecture.)|
|Shinemon the Third stabilized its sales in the Kanto area.|
|1864||Its main building was burnt down in the Great Genji Fire.|
|Meiji Era (1868-1912)|
|1870||Its main building was rebuilt.|
|Heisei (1989- )|
|February 20, 1990||The residence was designated as a Tangible Cultural Asset by Kyoto City.|
|February, 1992||The Naraya Memorial Sugimoto Residence Preservation Society was founded as an Incorporated Foundation.|
|June 29, 2010||The residence was designated as a National Important Cultural Property.|
|February 7, 2011||The garden was designated as a National Site of Scenic Beauty.|
|July, 2011||The Naraya Memorial Sugimoto Residence Preservation Society was registered as a Public Interest Incorporated Foundation.|