Wakamatsu Sekitan Hall was constructed along Dokai Bay in 1905. It is the oldest Western-style building in existence in the Wakamatsu District. Originally, it was the office of Wakamatsu Coal Dealers Union . Later, it became Wakamatsu Coal Association Inc. in 1944, and since 1973 up to present day the office has been used as Sekitan Hall Co., Ltd. Under the Meiji Government, the Fukuoka Domain’s takiishi shikumiho (feudal clan management of coal) was abolished and coal could be freely mined. With the shutdown of the office that controlled coal, coal dealers were able to trade freely participate. This resulted in a rapid increase in people launching coal-related businesses, but in fact it led to excessive competition and caused turmoil in value and quality. Thus, the Coal Dealers Association was established to restore credibility and order in 1875. In 1885, Fukuoka Prefecture issued the Dogyo Kumiai Junsoku (Trade Association Rules) and the Wakamatsu Port Alliance Coal Dealers Association was organized. It is known that at this time members included Shutaro Yamamoto and Kishichiro Yamamoto , as well as the names Mitsui & Co ., Mitsubishi Kogyo Kaisha (mining company), Yasukawa Matsumoto Shoten, and Furukawa Kogyo Kaisha (Furukawa Mining Co.) . The association counted among its members influential central and local investors. After the reclamation of land in Nishi-machi was finished in 1903, Wakamatsu Coal Dealers Union purchased approximately 993 square meters of that land. Keiichiro Yasukawa , the union president, appointed the union vice president, Shutaro Yamamoto chairman of the construction committee, and the union’s office was completed in 1905. The 2-story wooden building features a mortar finish on the exterior with masonry joints in the walls to give the look of stone. The features of the architectural style are well expressed. The building is bilaterally symmetrical with an entrance and a small porch in the center. It appears even more symmetrical due to opposing circular columns styled in the Doric order standing on square bases. Beyond the entrance is a passageway, and at the very end is the staircase, with various rooms placed around this passageway and staircase. There are flat arches above the windows, and brackets below the window ledges. Photos taking when construction was completed show that the slope of the roof was steeper and there were decorations on the ridge. There were varied ornamental elements, including a parapet that went around the building. Unfortunately, the exterior has changed from when the building was completed. The interior also was lavishly constructed, and the meeting rooms were used by non-members for private meetings. The building served as a kind of assembly hall where coal business people socialised activities took place, and guests were accommodated.
Address：1-13-15 Hon-machi, Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture
Closed : Mondays (open when Monday falls on a national holiday)
Other/Notifications：Only the 1st-floor entrance hall can be viewed.
Category: Constituent cultural properties
Genre: Story 1,3