Ginza Wako
Also known as:Dai Ichi Building
4-5-11 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo Japan
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The glitziest intersection in Tokyo's most fashionable shopping district is anchored by the venerable Ginza Wako building. Unlike its glass and neon neighbors, this building presents a dignified presence to shoppers and tourists crowding the Ginza corridor. Its wide curved base is intensely illuminated at night making it a blazing white beacon in the darkness that outshines the Johnny-come-lately department stores and boutiques with which it competes. The building's architecture lets people know that it has been around for a long time and will continue to dominate this corner in the future.

This building started out as Hattori, a horology shop, in the late 1800's. In fact, the clock on the building now was first installed in the Hattori clock tower in 1894. Hattori would go on to become what we now know as Seiko, and the original building would be flattened in the great earthquake of 1923. Out of the rubble of that earthquake rose the current building.

Remarkably, the Ginza Wako building survived the ravages of World War II and after the war was commandeered by the American forces for use as their headquarters during the American occupation of Japan. Today, the building is once again the bustling hub of a sprawling retailing neighborhood that attracts millions of people and billions of dollars each year.

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  I believe this is the building that my mother worked in just before she married my father and came to the states like in 1953 or 1955. She worked in the PX selling stuff to the American soldiers, which is where she met my father.

Paula - Monday, May 3rd, 2010 @ 4:04pm