Choji-ya (丁子屋)

Choji-ya (丁子屋) is one of the oldest yago (trade name), which is confirmed to have already existed in the Edo period. There is another writing variation for 'Choji-ya' (丁字屋).

This trade name derived from choji (a clove tree), and it was used by shoka (mercantile house) whose kamon (family crest) contained a design of cloves. Additionally, there were cases that merchants whose business were related to choji (clove oil, perfume, and herbal medicines) used the yago. The usage of the yago of choji-ya has also spread to trades related to plants (indigo-dyeing shops).

Clove oil was used to take care of Japanese swords and its perfumes and herbal medicines were also not cheap during the Edo period. As a result, although there were a lot of shoka under the name of choji-ya, many of them had a certain level of business capital. Accordingly, there are still such shops which are keeping their noren (a short, split curtain hung at the entrance of a store, which now represents the stores' goodwill and credit) in various places even after the Meiji Restoration.

[Original Japanese]