Two jinrikisha (rickshaw) pullers stand in front of Hyogo Kencho, the building for the Prefectural Government of Hyogo in Kobe, capital of Hyogo Prefecture.
Hyogo Port was among the first ports to open for trade with Western countries and it soon embraced everything Western. The city boasted countless Western style buildings, amongst which Hyogo Prefectural Office.
Japanese architect Hanroku Yamaguchi (1858-1900) designed Hyogo Prefectural Office in the French Renaissance style. It was completed in 1902 (Meiji 35). This postcard shows the building some time between 1907 (Meiji 40) and 1918 (Taisho 7).
Hyogo Kencho was built on the location of the residence of former Dutch consul Korthals, who was known to have had a very large estate. Japan Chronicle founder and editor Robert Young recounted in the newspaper’s 1918 jubilee edition about a nostalgic visit that Korthals made to his former home1:
Intensive US firebombing during WWII left only the outside walls standing, but it was restored to its former glory after the end of the war. It is now known as Hyogo House (兵庫県公館) and used for meetings, conferences, commemorations and welcoming VIPs.
1 Young, Robert (1918). Japan Chronicle: Jubilee Number 1868-1918.
Reference for Citations
Duits, Kjeld (). Kobe 1910s: Hyogo Kencho, OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN. Retrieved on January 17, 2022 (GMT) from https://www.oldphotosjapan.com/photos/188/hyogo-kencho
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