One Hundred Years of Sakaimachi Street
Gion Tsujiri X Starbucks X Academia Sinica
One hundred years ago, Tsujiri Tea, a shop stood at the corner of Hengyang Road and Chongqing S. Rd. The shop offered fine qualities of Oolong tea, black tea, and exclusive-made tea for its customers. The shop was well known to its royal warrant of appointment due to all kinds of honor, including winning the golden as well as silver medals from the Taiwan Industrial Mutual-Progress Fair.
Tsujiri Tea Shop was located on the Sakaimachi Street where first class stores gathered, and was at that time considered as Taipei’s Ginza. Kikumoto, for instance, the first department store in Taiwan, intentionally selected to start business at the intersection of Hengyang Road and Bo-ai Road. Its nickname “Seventh Heaven” was learning by its seven-story building with elevator
The owner of Tsujiri Tea, Tokusaburo Miyoshi, landed in Taiwan in 1899 and started his business. His researches on Taiwan Oolong Tea were of profound contribution to the development of Taiwan’s tea industry. In addition, he maintained close relation with the government officials by constantly setting up meetings with people concerned at the shop’s reception room at the second floor. Miyoshi was once the director-general of Taipei Fuquin Street post office, and a member of Taihoku Prefecture Administration. With his social status and acknowledged influence, he was referred to as the “civilian” Governor-general. Miyoshi died of illness in Taiwan at the age of 64.
Taiwan was under Japanese rule for the length of 50 years where Miyoshi spent 40 years of his life. After war, his family returned to Japan. His son, Masao Miyoshi, reopened Gion Tsujiri at their hometown Kyoto. In 1970, Michihiro Miyoshi, son of Masao Miyoshi, took over the business of Gion Tsujiri.
In 2012, Michihiro Miyoshi donates valuable historical materials regarding to his grandfather’s life in Taiwan. include business letters, photos, documents and so on, to the Archives of Institute of Taiwan History Academia Sinica.Nearly eighty-year-old Michihiro Miyoshi paid a visit to Taiwan and returned to the original location of Tsujiri Tea shop where a Starbucks Coffee now. As he stroked at the old building, and recalled the very years of Sakaimachi Street with closed eyes, the old trademarks on Hengyang Road vivified, as if being awakened.
This special exhibition was organized by the One Fine Day Studio.
祇園辻利 X 星巴克 X 中央研究院