Saturday, 27 February 2010

Kobe: the foreign quarter

Some Chinese presence remained in Kobe through out the Edo era, however under the Tokugawa government policy,  foreigners were essentially excluded from Japan.  After the Harris Treaty with the US opened Kobe to foreigners in 1863, there was a section of the city down by the water set aside as a foreign concession, where Japanese control of law and order as well as administrative control (including tax) was ceded to foreign powers.  Many of the old stone buildings remain.

Section 8 of the Old Foreign Quarter

This building was destroyed in the 1995 earthquake but was rebuilt to be exactly the same as the original.

Buildings in the foreign quarter down by the water in central Kobe

Up in Kitano, on Mt Rokko, where many of the houses remain.
Japanese and foreigners lived side by side.

AGerman designed house that is the only remaining brick building from the era.
Cafe culture on the hill
The Kobe Mosque - Kobe saw an influx of Turkic Muslim refugees from the Bolshevik revolution and its aftermath.  The Mosque was built primarily with money from British India.  Kobe also used to have a substantial Jewish population,  and accepted many Jewish refugees from Europe in the 1930s and 40s.

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