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Jimbocho game center "Mickey"

The remains of a long-established game center watching over the city
 
Jimbocho game center "Mickey"
 
-
 
There are many arcade game centers (henceforth, arcades) that are unique and memorable to players. We have often introduced such arcades in this media, but the store introduced this time is one of the famous stores that has become a legend for gamers in Tokyo.
 
“ Mickey ” had a store in Jimbocho, the center of Tokyo from 1982 to 2013 . Generally speaking, Jimbocho has the image of a "town of books", but for gamers, it also has another face, "Academy town for students."
 
It was a store that was regretfully closed six years ago, but this time I had a valuable opportunity to talk to its founder Shuji Miki and his son Kentaro. The author, who has been taking care of Mickey since he was a student, and Director Ohori of our institute, who was a regular in the founding period, manages the store with a special interior interior and a large DX housing. I would like to look back on the arcade culture while unraveling the simple questions at the time of business such as the concept.
 
Miki Shoji
Miki (hereinafter Miki President)
Miki Kentaro (Miki (Ken))
 
[Interviewer]
Game Culture Preservation Research Institute
Director: Kosuke Ohori
Writer: Takahiro Yagi
 
Lighting is lanterns!? The Japanese cafe was the base of the store
 
▲Mysterious tile decoration on the mezzanine floor
――The first thing I would like to ask is the roof tiles that you can see immediately after entering the store. I'm very interested in what kind of shop it was at first.
 
Miki President  Originally, it was an interesting coffee shop that had the atmosphere of the Edo period . The lighting was also like an oriental lantern. I didn't intend to make them appealing points when I made them into a game place... “I quit the coffee shop so I can buy Miki-san” (to the previous owner), and I was thinking that it would be nice to be able to do business simply by extending the coffee shop using a table cabinet.
 
The previous store had several private rooms, so I pierced them and finally refurbished them so that I could go around from anywhere.
 
When it first opened in 1982, the store was too big and we didn't have enough game consoles. The first floor, the mezzanine floor, and the second floor together total about 125 tsubo, and about half of it was a warehouse. There weren't that many games released at the time.
 
――It was a luxury trouble near the train station in Jimbocho.
 
Miki: There was a lot of space left, but it was difficult to introduce such a machine.
 
--What kind of game was there at the beginning?
 
Miki President's table version of " Space Invaders " (hereafter "Invaders") (1978/Taito) was almost all color. After the boom, there weren't that many different types, and at the time of the (first) Street Fighter (1987/Capcom), I could finally put in many different types of titles.
 
I especially remember the red VS chassis. A salesman said, "I will release more and more competitive games!", so I bought a lot, and one day suddenly I said "I will not make an arcade because consumers will be mainstream!", and the dedicated software will not come out. I expected that I put red VS chassis on all the 2nd floor...
 
--By the way, how many have you placed?
 
 I wonder if Miki had about 20 to 30 cars . That was the only place that cost me that much money to put up the housing.
 
--That's a surprise!
 
Commitment to 50 yen per play from the beginning
 
▲The old sign that sang “50 yen” per play.
――What kind of title was popular in the 1980s?
 
President Miki In the 1980s, there were millions of machines in one box, but from the opening, the play fee was 50 yen . You can see a line of customers outside the shop. The most amazing thing was when I received the double cradle chassis (*01) of " Afterburner II " (1987/SEGA) . This is also 50 yen per play, so it was quite a procession.
 
This machine is big and I can't enter the shop as it is, so I assemble the machine again after separating the machine. Mickey is not a slope, but a staircase, so I had to manually pick up all the heavy machinery. It took two days to get it up and running. So it should be new, but when it's ready to play, it's full of scratches and already used (laughs).
 
▲Double cradle type of "Afterburner II" (Image: Quote from SEGA official website) Ⓒ SEGA
――At that time, I remember that there were great titles in addition to “Afterburner II” due to the boom of large housing…
 
Miki (Ken) " WEC Le Mans 24 " (1986/Konami), " Galaxy Force II " (1988/SEGA), " Time Crisis " (1996/Namco)...
 
--At the time, I was a writer for the game magazine " Gamest " (1986-1999 / Shinseisha), but even in the editorial department, "Galaxy Force II's Super Deluxe chassis is in stock!? 1 play 50 yen!! " It became a hot topic.
 
Miki (Ken) At that time, the entrance stairs were made of wood and could not withstand the load of the chassis. Parts that cannot be separated by integrating them in a large housing were cut into pieces. It was made as light as possible and brought in at the end of the aisle.
 
--When I was young, I used to work at the game center "Trier Amusement Tower" that was in Akihabara before, but I remember having a " Darius " (1986/Taito) chassis cut into pieces. We all had the same trouble.
 
Miki (Ken) Did you put "Darius" on the stairs?
 
――Since I didn't take the elevator, I took all the staff along the stairs.
 
Miki (Ken) There are slopes in modern arcades, so it may be easier to carry them in.
 
-I would like to ask you because it was a large case, but why did you still stick to "50 yen per play" despite the latest game?
 
President Miki: My idea was  not to take the original amount for each game, but for the total amount of sales for the entire store for a day or a month . I think there are various owners, but how much money should be earned with this machine, rather than Mickey's personnel expenses, rent, utility expenses, etc. When. If it were such an account, then it would be "Can you put in a high-priced new work? Can you put it in?"
 
But, even if the result "I can't enter" appears, I have to add a new item to call the customers. It may not be that true, but I was aiming for a synergistic effect after making proper calculations. New games take a long time to play, so it's a flow of trying old games in the meantime.
 
Miki (Ken) I've been consistently making 50 yen for the  high-end game machine " Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Versus Full Boost " (2012 / Namco Bandai).
 
Impact on surroundings caused by "1 play 50 yen"
Mr. Miki I had a complaint from one of my peers while I was playing 50 yen per play (laughs). "This is 100 yen, so all the customers flow to Mickey," he says. The storm of slander on the internet. Eventually, the manufacturer was told that "Don't sell your new product to Mickey". Around 2010, a phone call came from the manufacturer, saying, "Please do your business for 100 yen if possible." For the first time, there was an exceptional exception that I was able to open for 100 yen per play for about a week .
 
Miki (Ken) Wasn't it about 3 days?
 
All (laughs)
 
Miki: It  would be a problem if you couldn't get the machine in, and there are deals with manufacturers .
 
Miki (Ken) There was another exception. " Spike out " (1998/SEGA). I was playing for 50 yen per play, but everyone got too good. One play is long. I connected four units and started working, but the same person was sitting there all the time (laughs).
 
Miki President I didn't change the play fee just because the machine was expensive, so it was cheap.
 
――I've been doing my best for 50 yen per play, but there are things I can't do without complaints that way.
 
President Miki Every day, I was worried that the owners of other stores came to the reconnaissance site and my customers lined up.
 
footnote
01. ↑ Double cradle housing : There are several types of "Afterburner" housings, and among them, it is a deluxe-type housing that can be moved back and forth and left and right like a pendulum so that the player can get in.
 
--------
 
Buy all games without leasing
 
▲Basically, game machines that were purchased without leasing
――How did you get the game console?
 
I bought all the game consoles that President Miki did without basically leasing them. I've been leasing games since I was about 23, so I knew exactly how much leasing would be profitable. I didn't even think about renting and running it.
 
――How did you decide the purchase criteria for the new product?
 
Mr. Miki had decided to buy at least one new product. I'm not very familiar with games so I left it up to the staff to buy more than one.
 
Miki (Ken) Of course, you can put multiple killer titles.
 
- AM show (* 01) , AOU show (* 02) always one is new that came out in the I is not had is operated. In a sense, it's amazing! It was such an assortment of products, so I think the number of customers was good.
 
Miki: From the late 1980s to the 1990s, the floor was invisible to customers. Employees were worried that the wooden floor could come off. Because we can't play the game, everyone stands by and waits.
 
20th President Miki, who dreamed of independence
Ohori : You said you started a leasing shop at the age of 23. Could you tell us about those days?
 
President Miki First of all, when I was in the fourth year of university, I had already decided to work for Nippon Oil with my father's connection, and I was working as a salaryman. I took all the credits and went to school for about 3 hours a week. However, the office worker soon found out that he didn't suit my personality. I'm not going to succeed. So, when I joined the company in October 1969, I secretly asked my parents to retire. Of course, I was disappointed when I contacted my parents.
 
I wanted to be independent. Around that time (1969), my brother's friend who was running a club in Ginza invited me to run a store in Omori (a snack and coffee shop). I bought that store for 3.6 million yen. In the days when the salaryman's monthly income was 40,000-50,000 yen, I had only 400,000 yen at that time.
 
-Isn't there a certain amount of preparedness for a young man who just graduated from university to suddenly run a store?
 
Miki: I had dozens of part-time jobs when I was a student, and I also had experience as a store manager. There was a very famous Chinese restaurant directly managed by Diamond Hotel in Yurakucho, but when I was a college student working part-time there, I was asked if I could come to the hotel's Italian restaurant because of my ability. .. I was constantly calling out from other stores, and I was working all the time. I think he was different in his ability to act from other people. Of course, I also loved work. After gaining experience in various places like that, I was confident that I could manage the store, and I received two responses from the Omori store.
 
Around 1970, a cup of coffee was 90 yen at that time. I went to the store with the money I bought, and for about half a year after I opened the store, I didn't make any money, and it was in a state of ton.
 
One day, a juke shop came and asked, "Can you put a jukebox in?" The game console brought to me, "Please let me put it in because there is also this." This made a lot of money.
 
Then I thought that I should lease the game myself, which was the first opportunity to move into the game industry .
 
Claw marks left by the "Invaders" boom
 
▲Until the store was closed, I was able to play the "Invader" on the table cabinet as well.
--It was in the 1970s when the coffee shop was founded, but in 1978 it was the year when the "Invaders" boom came. Did you experience the tremendous popularity of the world?
 
 At the time of President Miki , I ran 6 coffee shops, but I wonder if one (“Invader”) costs 30,000 yen a day. I couldn't open the box holding the coins because the key didn't turn .
 
Miki (Ken) I had never seen such an income game even after that in Mickey.
 
President Miki There are good times and bad times. When the "Invaders" boom came, a bad image (of the game) spread to the world. The world has labeled that “Invaders are what defects do”. (Young people) gather at a coffee shop every day and play even after midnight without returning home. The game fee was obtained from extortion. I was struck by newspapers and TV every day saying that "Invaders" are not good for children's education. Then, in August 1979, the year after the launch, sales of the machine ("Invader") stopped suddenly .
 
--It was a time when there were both sour and sweet.
 
 I'm scared of the game industry because I'm Miki . When political pressure is applied, it ends in one shot. I couldn't go against the world. The game wasn't accepted by the world as it is now. At that time, many companies went bankrupt because of it.
 
A company that made "Jatre Specter" rented one floor of the Sumitomo Building in Shinjuku at its peak, but after releasing "The Baseball Fist" series (1986-), the president wants to lower it. I was suffering from management so much that I had to bow down. Seeing that, I thought I shouldn't lose.
 
From invader house management to Mickey store opening
 
▲The "Mickey" sign that has existed since the store opened
I think you  started leasing from the Ohori coffee shop and then moved to Invader House (*03) . Where was the shop?
 
Miki is around Omori. Each of them was a small store of about 20 tsubo, and we did 6 of them. The coffee shop was run under the name of "Sharon Co., Ltd.", and within a few years, it changed from "Miki Shoji Co., Ltd." to "Miki Shoji Co., Ltd." I wonder if the opening of Mickey will be a little after the invader boom.
 
-Mickey seems to have opened in 1982.
 
Miki (Ken) I remember having  " Kangaroo " (1982 / San Denshi) in the early days of its founding . The most memorable title is "Gradius", and at that time, many customers visited the store .
 
In parallel with the management of Miki, the president of Miki, I was also doing a karaoke box. I also made the prototype of the karaoke box . The karaoke box was first placed in the form of a "container box" in the countryside with a parking lot and a large land area.
 
At that time, in the city, there was a container in the bowling alley. This was interesting, and I asked them to visit the interior shop that was dedicated to their company to see what kind of structure they had, including soundproofing. The karaoke box is now in the form of a karaoke specialty store that has a private room in the property we had in the Omori area.
 
――So you created the basis for a karaoke box, right?
 
President Miki In my opinion, the price is 100 yen for 10 minutes for any number of people in one room. However, do not create a large room with a small space for 3 to 4 people. One song costs 100 yen. Considering the operating rate of about 10 hours a day, I calculated the approximate sales. Then, the account can be paid in less than a year.
 
The first store was a small store with only about 6 rooms, but when I opened it, I had a long line. Initially, the 10-hour operation schedule was changed to 24-hour operation. That means that the collection rate was very good. But I knew it wouldn't last long in my way.
 
The karaoke machine is Sony CD karaoke for 300,000-400,000 yen. LD costs over 1 million yen. On a CD, the lyrics alone do not produce any video, so I used the video that was centrally managed at the counter as a breakthrough. In other words, the same video played in every room, and the song and the picture did not match (laugh). It's such an inexpensive product, so it would be nice to be able to pay in half a year, but the room is small and I can't relax. Sales fell in three years, as I expected to lose to the luxury interiors and low rates of competitors.
 
footnote
01. ↑ AM Show : Abbreviation for "Amusement Machine Show", an exhibition of new arcade games. Organized by JAMMA (Japan Amusement Machine Association), also known as the JAMMA show. It is held in September every year, and compared to the AOU show mentioned below, the most powerful new work of the year was announced. Integrated with AOU show in 2013. Since then, it has been held as a Japan Amusement Expo every February at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture.
02. ↑ AOU Show : An arcade game exhibition event sponsored by AOU (Association of All Japan Amusement Facility Business Association) that was held every spring until 2012. Currently integrated into the Japan Amusement Expo mentioned above.
03. ↑ Invader House : A game center with only "Space Invaders", which appeared all over the country from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.
 
----------
 
Production and sale of mahjong software that was plagued by copy products
――Mr. Miki, you made a game, right?
 
Miki: That's right. I was in the business of leasing, and I knew what leasing was, so sometimes I made a game in-house or had another person make it and then get the sales rights.
 
――What kind of title was created?
 
President Miki, " Mahjong Kaguya Hime ", " Taiwan Mahjong ", " Mahjong Camera Boy " (both 1988/Miki Shoji). The mahjong game was developed by Nichibutu (*01), and there were dozens of types of games sold by Miki Shoji . I thought about the scenario of the game, and Nichibutu was in charge of the design of the characters. I made 1,000 to 2,000 pieces for one title.
 
--At that time, you saw "Mahjong Kaguya Hime" at a Sigma Fantasia (*02) affiliated store.
 
▲ Valuable instrumental card of "Mahjong Kaguyahime" (Data provided by Miki Shoji)
Miki: There is a betting ceremony at a medal shop. "Mahjong Kaguya Hime" is said to be "Hime Mahjong" in authentic China, and it was a huge hit with 400,000 copies. But about 1,000 of the original boards I sold. Almost 6000 to 7,000 copy boards have been released in Japan. I had Nichibutsu develop it, but the custom chip was analyzed. At that time, in the world of copying and copying, it was at the time when people in Japan finally began to be told that "it shouldn't be" .
 
 After working at Ohori Invader House (*03) , you managed Mickey, made a cabinet, and developed software.
 
Mr. Miki I knew that it would be copied anyway, so even when proving it to be the original, I firmly stuck the license sticker on the board and did wholesale . You can buy it (a license sticker) for 2,000 yen per sheet. But Miki had proper rights such as sales rights.
 
――If the scale had grown so much, wasn't it regarded by the industry?
 
Mr. Miki Although he cannot be a major developer such as SEGA or Taito, he had the ambition to become the industry's number one behind the scenes. But my dream has not come true. I was frustrated on the way. However, I didn't change the style (making the industry live behind the scenes).
 
Miki (Ken) At that time, a large business group had established guidelines and standardized standards for game centers, but Mickey did not belong to that group, so it was successful and was out of the standard, for example, I was able to put a table like a pachi-slot (*04) . There was also the aspect that the store was established because it had that degree of freedom. However, arcade games have declined since 2000, compared to the heyday of the 1980s and 1990s.
 
▲Pachislot games were fulfilling before the store closed.
President Miki  Actually, it was Uchi who changed the commercial pachislot at pachinko parlors to an amusement specification that can be operated at Gaesen . Company J bought it, and it became the flow that any arcade could operate. For that reason, the name of Miki Shoji does not appear on the table, but it was a product that I worked on.
 
I had a similar offer from another company, but I declined it before I was trading with Company J. After that, the company asked for development in a low-quality place, so it was a complaint storm and it went bankrupt in 2005.
 
The development of a medal machine is very difficult. If you make a malfunction, complaints will come all at once and you will not be able to sell. A new pachislot machine that costs 400,000 yen each will become a pile of stock.
 
" Get profit quickly sell cheap Nde" is the motto of our house, 10 months to take the original, if not in business three years to earn at least now that do.
 
 Except for Mickey Ohori , how many stores did you manage?
 
Miki: I had four small stores, but one year after the opening of Mickey (1982), I closed all of them and collected all the machines (at those four stores) into Mickey.
 
Advertisement of "Gemest" to understand the atmosphere of the store at the time
――This time, I brought the game magazine “ Gamest ” (1986-1999 / Shinseisha) as a material. At that time, you were advertised here.
 
Miki's magazine magazine (Shinseisha) asked me if it would be published, so I received two replies and said, "OK."
 
▲Many photographs of customers are used to create a lively atmosphere (from an advertisement in the March 1989 issue of "Gemest").
――Although there are many photos of customers on the advertising page of the store, even in the advertisement, you can see that Mickey's uniqueness is different.
 
It was all up to President Miki (to a magazine company). Please come to the store to take photos.
 
I think the designer Miki (Ken) was good.
 
――How much was the advertising cost at that time?
 
President Miki It was expensive at that time (laughs). I wonder if it couldn't reach 200,000 yen on 2 pages. The " Coin Journal " (1976-2001/Coin Journal (*05) ) was 200,000 yen for half a page. Even so, at the height of the heyday, there were 4 pages of advertisements. Especially at the end of the year, it was a lot.
 
――When you look at the advertising page, you see that you have a free service during Golden Week.
 
▲ Various services during Golden Week (from the advertisement in the June 1989 issue of "Gemest")
President Miki: I used to do such projects all the time.
 
 Coffee service after opening, regardless of Miki (ken) period. This is popular with office workers. After all, I can't drink for free, so I feel like playing a little and going home. There weren't many customers in the morning, so that was enough.
 
Miki: I'm releasing it as a free vendor.
 
--Even if you introduced " Galaxy Force " (1988/SEGA), you wanted to have your customers come.
 
President Miki It would have been great if the customers came, enjoyed, and made us happy.
 
--I think there were many regulars as well...
 
Miki (Ken) Customers graduate when they reach a certain age. However, the generations were replaced every year and it was always thriving .
 
▲A nostalgic flyer at that time (data provided by Miki Shoji)
 Mickey's customers at the time of President Miki still buy my machine.
 
Miki (Ken) "I used to go to Mickey, but are there any game consoles left?" I still sometimes jump in and call (laughs). So I think Mickey had a certain name.
 
There are about 30 Miki president table game consoles every month. I'm also making new ones.
 
Miki (Ken) I 've been working with me so far, so I'm told by a vendor who closes the shop and removes the table machine. I bought it all, restored it, and reused it.
 
--Are you a business person? Are you an individual?
 
Miki (Ken) There are many individual customers.
 
footnote
01. ↑ Nichibutu : Japanese product abbreviation. A male arcade game maker famous for its owl logo. In addition to popular games such as "Moon Cresta" (1980) and "Crazy Climber" (1980), he is also known for his many mahjong games.
02. ↑ Sigma's Fantasia : Sigma is a game maker who devised and established the genre called "medal game" in which casino games such as slot machines are played using medals. In 1971, the "Game Fantasia Milan Store (currently "Adores"), a game center centered on medal games, was opened. After that, a chain of similar game centers was developed.
03. ↑ Invader House : A game center with only "Space Invaders" (1978/Taito), which appeared throughout Japan from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.
04. ↑ Pachi-slot : The term "pachi-slot" here is not a so-called pachinko/pachislot specialty store, but a type (pachislot game machine) that has been modified into an amusement specification that can be played even by a minor. A table that can be played with a medal or 100 yen is common. Mickey had many of the latter types.
05. ↑ Coin journal : An industry magazine that posted topics, new information, location trends, etc. in the arcade industry. Since 2001, it has been taken over by "Amusement Journal". It's not the kind of magazine that is handled in bookstores, but I'm sure there were a few game fans who have seen it at exhibitions such as AOU Amusement Expo and at arcades.
 
-------
 
Adjusted the difficulty of the game according to the trend of the times
――How did you feel that Mickey changed as you watched game changes and changes in the industry from 1982 to 2013?
 
Mr. Miki has never changed. There isn't such a bad time. When a video game doesn't work, it's good because it's large, it's played by a pachislot, and it's seamless.
 
--Puzzle game boom including " Tetris " (1988/SEGA), " Street Fighter II " (1991/Capcom), " Virtua Fighter " (1993/SEGA)), " Tekken " (1994/ There was a boom in fighting games such as NAMCO.
 
Miki (Ken) You first released "Tetris" only with a lease. I sold it in the second half.
 
--Did "Tetris" have been popular since its release?
 
Miki (Ken) I think there was.
 
――To say that now, the difficulty level of "Tetris" placed on Mickey was hard. It's usually easy to think that it's easy, but I was trained because of the difficulty. I am thankful now (laugh).
 
Miki: I left it to the scene to adjust the difficulty of the game.
 
--Around Ms. Mickey was 50 yen out of the play fee of 100 yen for the game arcades around, so I think the player was convinced that the difficulty level (of "Tetris") was high.
 
Miki (Ken) Like  "Tetris", but the endless title takes a long time to play. There was also a difficulty setting for that reason . The store manager was adjusting everything.
 
For the first time, as the president, I first learned that Miki was the same place (laughs).
 
--I once heard that a person who was traveling from a distance felt that "this is difficult...".
 
Miki (Ken) I wish I had told you.
 
All (laughs)
 
Miki (Ken) " Virtual On " (1995 / SEGA) is I'd have been very popular, "was doing in hard mode, you say if I ..." from the manager I was ever consulted me. Also " Pacpaca Passion " (1998/Namco).
 
▲The long-lived title “Pacpaca Passion”
- Mickey I think it was also known as the Holy Land "Pakapaka Passion" . The sound-enhanced pedestal was in operation near the entrance of the store.
 
Mr. Miki,  as a stand for "Pakapaka Passion" , provided it with a specially designed cabinet made by modifying Blast City (*01) .
 
Miki (Ken) We added JBL speakers to reflect the voices of our customers.
 
――In the 1980s when I was attending, I imagined that there were many young customers such as students from Meiji University nearby, but how was it from the 1990s until closing?
 
 Of course, there were many Miki president students. And also Savorman (laughs). In the morning, he said, "I'm going to business," and then I was playing with my house until evening. There were many people like that.
 
Old games also contribute to income
--Please tell us about the Old Game Corner. Old games were lined up side by side on the second floor of the store, and it was impressive that " Great Swordsman " (1984/Taito) was always on the edge of it.
 
Miki (Ken) That was what I left. Income goes up for a moment when you put in old games . Immediately after switching games, sales will improve. So I used the stock once or twice a month to replace it. The Great Swordman had good sales, so I think I kept it for a long time.
 
Miki: Even changing the layout had an impact on sales.
 
――Is there a title that Kentaro liked?
 
Miki (Ken) Of course, I also included what I liked, but sales do not rise as expected.
 
When did Kentaro Ohori start helping Mickey?
 
Miki (Ken) I think I was about 25 (1999). I was looking at both the shop and the company.
 
President Miki No matter what you do, you have to know the scene.
 
 Employees had to collect Miki (Ken) money, so I managed to manage the bills every day and collect money every two weeks.
 
 How long did it take just to collect Ohori ?
 
Miki (Ken) It took 6 to 7 people and it took 2 to 3 hours. I'll do it after the store closes, so it's likely to end at 3 o'clock in the middle of the night. This was especially true of new games with extremely good income, such as " Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Versus Full Boost " (2012/Bandai Namco), but if you don't collect the money once every 2-3 days, I often collected money because the (coin box) would be full.
 
The game with the highest income
-Do you remember the game with the best income?
 
It's Miki (ken) pachislot. " Hokuto no Ken " (2003/Sammy), " Yoshimune " (2003/Daito Giken), etc. (Pachislot game) cost 50,000 yen a day for one machine. There were 5 to 6 of them. There were times when only the pachi-slot game was designed to give a prize at a play fee of 100 yen.
 
-I can't stop thinking that it will be out soon. When it comes out, it's a pachi-slot that can't be stopped because it came out. How was it with video games?
 
Miki (Ken) " Street Fighter III 3rd STRIKE-Fight for the Future- " (1999 / Capcom) has been a good income for a long time. Also, " Virtua Striker 2 ver.'98 " (1998/SEGA) was amazing.
 
――Aside from income, what games were popular?
 
Miki (Ken) After all, " Spike Out " (1998/SEGA). Maybe it was because I was special, but also "Pacpaca Passion".
 
There used to be a river in the store!?
--At the entrance of the store, there was a crane game lonely, right?
 
President Miki Before that (installation) of the crane game, there was a vending machine in that space, and a river was flowing through it.
 
--A river!?
 
Mr. Miki was originally a Japanese-style coffee shop, and water was flowing from the second floor. I stopped pouring water from the middle, broke it when I put a large case in, and left the game console.
 
--I don't remember that I started going to Mickey around 1986. I also wanted to see Mickey at that time!
 
Ohori: I used to go to " Zebius " (1983/Namco) and " Star Force " (1984/Tecan), but I feel like there was a gap and that was the atmosphere.
 
--When you enter the store, if the river suddenly flows and there are tiles, it will be a place you will never forget. I would love to see if there were any photos left.
 
Claw marks left by the Great East Japan Earthquake
 
▲Inside the store after the Great East Japan Earthquake. A crack in the beam!
--Did there be any major happenings in Mickey's history?
 
Miki (Ken) It was the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. All the money changers in the store fell down. After all, (the earthquake) triggered the closing of the store.
 
Miki's rooftop air conditioner outdoor unit also fell down. The roof tiles have fallen and the ceiling has been replaced.
 
--Did you close the store temporarily right after the earthquake?
 
Miki (Ken)  However, there are customers who are playing games without escaping even though they are shaken by the earthquake (laughs). Since no one was injured, I can laugh at it like this.
 
-It's a customer's book (laughs).
 
Mr. Miki That earthquake will crack the walls of the store, and various things will bend.
 
Miki (Ken) It seems that the floor is about to come off, and there is a dangerous space where heavy items cannot be placed. There is no access to it.
 
President Miki Because it was in such a state, I took care not to bother the landlord and the bar on the first floor. It would be a catastrophe if 120 120 kg machines fell from the 2nd and 3rd floors.
 
――How far was Mickey, who was almost out of the floor, from the ceiling of the bar on the first floor?
 
Miki: There  was a little less than 1m between the floor and the ceiling. So the vibration did not reach the bar.
 
--Did you ever get out of the floor?
 
President Miki It never happened. Before the earthquake, we regularly called in staff to reinforce the floor.
 
--You were still in business at the time of the earthquake. Have you closed your shop in the past?
 
Miki : It didn't take a day.
 
The painful choice of closing the store
--You said that the store was damaged and the store closed due to the Great East Japan Earthquake, but did you have any idea to rebuild and restart Mickey?
 
Miki: That wasn't there. One reason is that game consoles have become expensive. My management style is such that the investment amount is low and the return is fast. (The style is no longer compatible with the flow of the industry). Like the billing system, the maker-led stance that manufacturers only need to make money has changed. If this is the case, the store won't pay. A business owner like me, who says "Let's get the money back in 10 months", can't spend money on such a business.
 
Miki (Ken) After that, I can't depreciate when I upgrade the game. If you think you can depreciate it, the version will be upgraded again, and even if you sell it, it will be two bundles and three sentences. This won't make you a business.
 
Miki : It’s bicycle operation. Everything has been sucked up by the manufacturer. And the new arcade game is no longer attractive. The game console sales business we are currently doing makes our customers happy.
 
 Before the closing of Miki (Ken) Mickey, video games were not released. Then, when you think about what to put in a large space, it will be something you made in-house. We made pachislot games in-house, so we increased the number. You did the board exchange yourself . If you ask a trader, it will be expensive. Eventually that was the flow. It's lonely, but I couldn't go against the times.
 
▲After Mickey closed, Miki Shoji will focus its business on selling amusement machines (photo provided by Miki Shoji).
The fact that President Miki's earthquake caused rattling in the store was rather an impetus.
 
Miki (Ken) In  terms of sales, the ratio of pachislot games was higher .
 
Miki: At the end, I had 40 to 50 units only for pachislot games. Let's make a wooden cabinet in Taiwan, use our board as a board, buy a used board and put it on.
 
――I wasn't thinking about quitting because the income was getting worse.
 
Miki (Ken)  I really wanted to continue to speak .
 
Miki wasn't in the red.
 
Customer reaction on the day of closing
 
▲A lot of people gathered on the day of closing
――How was the reaction of the customers when you issued the closing notice?
 
From the announcement of Miki (Ken) to the day of closing, many customers and regular customers came.
 
Miki's cabinet was also sold with a price tag. All the posters I posted are free (to the visitors).
 
--Is that so! I wanted you to distinguish the shapes.
 
Ohori : Whenever I go to Jimbocho, I always go to see the site of Mickey. To confirm that there is still more!
 
Miki (Ken) There is supposed to be a new building built up there. We didn't know what to do after that...
 
--In the neighborhood of Jimbocho, there is only one arcade.
 
Feelings of "Thank you. Thank you for your help."
――Could you give us a message from the last two people to the customers who loved Mickey, regulars?
 
Miki: There really is no other than "Thank you very much". On the contrary, I want to say, "Thank you." I would like to thank you rather than thank you. " Thank you for loving Mickey ." This is the only one.
Regulars came in early in the morning and played games until late at night. Everyone is a good boy. There were a lot of children who were kind to Jimbocho .
 
Miki (Ken) Jinbocho is not bad, depending on the locality.
 
――Thinking back, Mickey was a game arcade that you could go to with peace of mind.
 
Miki (Ken) Many children attended smart private schools. Some students came from the University of Tokyo.
 
- it is rude to say this, but I'm shops seemingly undue profits appearance, store exciting like a maze, and precisely because there is an atmosphere that can be peace of mind at home, Mickey was loved by many people than the I think not.
 
Miki (Ken) I think I was very blessed from the management side. It's hard to say in a word, but I was with my father, " Thank you so much. I would like to thank you from here ." That's all. When I closed the store, I really felt like it.
 
Even if it's time to close the shop on the day of closing, regulars don't go home easily. Like "Let me take a picture at the end" or "Tell me more stories". They waited in front of me until the end of the day.
 
▲On the day of closing, regular customers were standing in front of the store with regret.
What I thought again at the end of the interview
President Miki and Kentaro created a shop that was loved by many people for more than 30 years, starting naked. The words of "thank you" came out from the two people who looked at the front and back of the industry, and they stuck in my chest. I would like to thank Miki's parents and children again for the readers who used to be Mickey's customers and regulars.
 
Thank you for the memorable one page of youth .
 
footnote
01. ↑ Blast City : Sega's general-purpose chassis released in 1996. It was released next to Aerocity and Astrocity. It should be noted that it is large and powerful, and can be used for games with 24kHz specifications such as Sega's "Gain Ground" (1988) and "Virtua Fighter".
 
NOTE:
 
* All the store images in the article except those with a proviso are quoted are from ITmedia "Netorabo" March 27, 2013 published article and March 31, 2013 published article . Please do not use the image for secondary purposes.
 
▲ = footnotes. refere to images on the bottom.

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