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Source: Grape

From October 1st to October 29th, 2022, “BAR S” on the top floor of the Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Building will be serving special cocktails and desserts to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Shiseido’s founding and the 120th anniversary of Shiseido Parlour, which continues to be a stylish and fashionable gathering place for adults in the ritzy Ginza neighborhood of Tokyo.

The highlight of the lineup are cocktails in 新橋色 shimbashi iro, or “Shimbashi Color.”

Shimbashi Color and Shimbashi Geisha

A turquoise blue color, 新橋色 (shimbashi iro | Shimbashi color), also known as 金春色 (komparu iro | Komparu color), derives its name from the Meiji Era when the geisha houses on 金春新道 Komparu Shinmichi street (the current 金春通り komparu dōri street) in the Tokyo neighborhood of 新橋 Shimbashi adjacent to Ginza were coming into their own as an important center of geisha activity.

You can see Shimbashi color name plates on Komparu Dōri street today:

When chemical dyes were first imported into Japan in the Meiji era, the color became popular as one of the numerous elements that symbolized the Westernized appearances and lifestyles that people referred to as ハイカラ haikara (from the English “high collars” of the men who wore Western clothes). The color first appeared in prints and paintings in the late 19th century but then the Shimbashi geishas (also called Komparu geishas), fashion leaders of their time, began wearing the color in their kimonos and accessories, sparking a new trend.

A Japanese woman wearing a Shimbashi color kimono. | metamoworks / © PIXTA

From the time of its founding in 1902, Shiseido Parlour, where Japan’s first soda fountains were installed, was a favorite hangout for Shimbashi geishas. Their patronage was so valued that Shiseido offered them bottles of Eudermine Revitalizing Essence (launched in 1897) to take home when they ordered soda water, …continue reading