This postcard of around 19071 shows two important buildings on the Bund in Oura-Sagarimatsu. The large white building is the Nagasaki branch of the Hongkong Shanghai Bank, the brown building on the right is the Nagasaki Hotel.
At that time, they were right on the edge of Nagasaki harbor, just a fifteen minute walk from Dejima (also: Deshima).
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Company Limited, now known as HSBC, was established in Hong Kong in March 1865 (Genji 2) to finance the growing trade between China and Europe. In 1866 (Keio 2), it launched its first branch in Japan.2
The bank closed its doors in 1931 (Showa 6), and in 1940 (Showa 15) the building was acquired by Nagasaki Prefecture. It was initially used as headquarters of the Nagasaki Police Department and was later converted into the Reference Library of History and Folk Art. The building once again changed functions when it re-opened as the Memorial Hall in October 1996 (Heisei 8).
The building on this photo was designed by Japanese architect Kikutaro Shimoda (1866-1931) and opened in 1905 (Meiji 38). It still stands and is the only remaining building designed by Shimoda. The first floor of the three-story building features Chicago-style windows with repetitive curved arches and an arcade. Circular Corinthian columns embrace the second and third floor. The building is crowned with a pediment.
It is now a National Important Cultural Asset and the first floor displays the bank’s original interior, with historical floor displays and a tearoom on the other floors.3
The Nagasaki Hotel was built in 1898 (Meiji 31) and considered to be one of the finest Western-style hotels in the Far East. The hotel did excellent business until visitors to Nagasaki were restricted during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. This apparently weakened the hotel so much that it wasn’t able to survive the economic depression of the early 1920’s. The doors closed forever in 1924 (Taisho 13), and the building was pulled down soon after.4
1 I have seen a version of this card with a postmark of July 1907, which determines that the photo must have been taken that year, in 1906, or possibly shortly after the opening of the Hongkong Shanghai Bank in 1905.
2 Wikipedia. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Retrieved on 2008-07-29.
3 長崎県観光情報システム。Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Building. Retrieved on 2008-07-29.
4 Nagasaki Foreign Settlement Research Group. Nagasaki Hotel. Retrieved on 2008-07-29.
Reference for Citations
Duits, Kjeld (). Nagasaki 1900s: Buildings on the Bund, OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN. Retrieved on September 28, 2022 (GMT) from https://www.oldphotosjapan.com/photos/324/buildings-on-bund
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