Headquarters of Japan Inc.
Meaning “Inside the Circle”, the name Marunouchi derives from its location within the outer moat of Edo Castle. Marunouchi is located at the frontal gate of the Imperial Palace, which was constructed on the location of the former Edo Castle after the Meiji Restoration. The district contains hundreds of corporate headquarters of listed Japanese companies. Marunouchi is regarded as the most respected office location among members of the Japanese business community.
The Inlet of Edo Bay was Reclaimed by Tokugawa Ieyasu
In the late 16th century, before Tokugawa Ieyasu became the ruler of Japan and moved to Edo, the area now known as Marunouchi was an inlet of Edo Bay. The inlet was reclaimed as Tokugawa Ieyasu renovated and expanded the Edo Castle.
Meaning “Inside the Circle”
The name Marunouchi derives from its location within the outer moat of the Edo Castle, which was a residence for the Tokugawa Shogunate for more than 250 years until the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century. Vassal lords constructed their mansions on the reclaimed land. During the 260 years that the Tokugawa Shogunate prospered until the Meiji Restoration, Marunouchi had been the residential district for upper class Samurai.
The Parade Grounds for the Japanese Army
Following the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century, which ended the Tokugawa Shogunate’s rule of Japan, the owner of the Edo Castle became the Meiji government. The Emperor’s residence, called the Imperial Palace, was constructed on the former castle. Parade grounds and barracks for the new government army were built in the Marunouchi district.
Called the “Mitsubishi Fields”
Following the Meiji Restoration, the founding family of the current Mitsubishi Group, the largest Japanese conglomerate dating back to the late Edo period, had a chance to purchase land in Marunouchi from the government. Since then the group successfully developed Marunouchi as a business district, and the area came to be known as the so called “Mitsubishi Fields”. A number of office buildings in the district were designed and constructed by imitating those of London’s financial district.
Becoming the Center of Japanese Business Community
Mitsubishi Estate, a real estate arm of the Mitsubishi group, succeeded to establish a business district in Marunouchi, and the headquarters of many large Japanese companies are located in Marunouchi. Much of the land remains under the ownership of Mitsubishi Estate. Located near the Imperial Palace, the area became the most respected business district among members of the Japanese business community.