Amita Co. artists: Minai, Torahiko Kanamori, Takeshi

Mori Yoko [森洋行] (1920 ~ 1941)

Mori Shinzaburo

Mori Yoko ("Yoko" in Chinese means "foreign company") was a Japanese company, based in Manchuria (today north China), during the 1920s ~ 1940s. The company, founded by Mori Shinzaburo (森眞三郎), retailed watches, cameras, gramophones, opticals, jewels, fountain pens, jewelry, silverware, items made of precious metals and more.
Mori Shinzaburo was born on October 2, 1890, in Hikone, Shiga prefecture. He was the eldest son of Mori Tajiro (森太次郞) and had 2 younger brothers: Masaji (森正二) and Sutezo (森捨三). In 1909 Shinzaburo graduated from the Taisei Gakuin school (today Taisei Gakuin University), Osaka. He then worked for Ichinomiya Shoten (一宮商店) in Kyoto and Osaka, and after that joined Omi Yoko (近江洋行) as a precious metals and watches dealer, and later as a foreign affairs chief.
On February 7, 1920 (Taisho 9) Shinzaburo founded Mori Yoko in Liaoyang (遼陽). Masaji and Sutezo became his business partners. After reorganization of the business in 1924, the main store of Mori Yoko moved to Mukden (奉天, today Shenyang). A branch store, opened in Fabruary 1924, operated in Dairen (大連, today Dalian).

Dalian branch of Mori Yoko in 1930.

The Dalian branch was located at the intersection of Ginza street (銀座通り) and Shinsaibashi street (心斎橋通り), in the E-Ward of the Chain-store town (連鎖街) of the Dalian city.
An article from the 1934 issue of the Japan Today and Tomorrow says that by this time Mori Yoko were doing very well. During 1933~1941 new branches of Mori Yoko were opened, supported by a wide advertising campaign. By 1933, in addition to the branch in Dairen, Mori Yoko stores operated in Xinjing (新京, today Changchun) and Liaoyang (遼陽). In 1935 a store in Harbin (哈爾賓) was opened. Two years later, in 1937, a branch of Mori Yoko is opened in Tianjin (天津). In 1939 another branch was opened in Beijing (北京).

The Dalian branch bulding in 2015. Notice the addition of the 3rd floor.

Besides managing the Mori Yoko, throughout his life Shinzaburo served as director of Mukden Chamber of Commerce, as vice-president of Phonograph Chamber of Commerce, as a chairman of Mukden Watch Precious Glasses Commerce and Industry Association, Mukden Local Phonograph Association, Mukden Clock Gramophone Accessory Wholesalers Association, Mukden Radio Commercial Association, Counselor of Mukden Souvenir Association, as a director of Bongshin Warehouse Co. and as an auditor of Bonshin Tatemono Co., Ltd.

Silver plaque (left) and cigarette case (right) from Mori Yoko showing red-seal ships.

Mori Shinzaburo was married to Yaeno (八江野) and had two children, daughters Midori (美登利) and Masumi (眞壽美).
Unfortunately, despite the success of Mori Yoko during the 1930s, the company was closed when the World War II reached the Pacific. The old, dilapidated building of the Dalian branch in the middle of the Dalian city's Chain town is today the only remnant of once a big and famous company.

Addresses and locations
Examples (from the web)