Moji Branch Office of Kitakyushu Bank (Former Moji Branch Office of Yokohama Specie Bank)
The Moji Branch Office of Kitakyushu Bank was once the Moji Branch Office of Yokohama Specie Bank , which was built where the Kyushu Railway Moji Station once stood. Yokohama Specie Bank was a special bank that exclusively handled foreign exchange. The establishment of this bank branch reflects the internationality of Moji Port and was specifically expected to meet the needs of international trade at the time in Moji. The building’s designer, Kotaro Sakurai studied architecture in the United Kingdom and then joined Mitsubishi Limited Partnership in 1913. He opened his own office in 1923. A neoclassical architectural motif, at which he was particularly skilled, is utilized throughout the building. Yokohama Specie Bank was located here because in the past Moji was the center of finance in Kyushu. From the mid Meiji period (1868–1912) to the early Showa era (1926–1989), government-related financial institutions such as the West Branch Office of the Bank of Japan, city banks, regional banks, and savings banks opened branch offices one after another in Moji. There are two reasons so many banks established branch offices in Moji during this pre-WWII period when financial institutions had few branch offices. The first reason is thatbecause the Bank of Japan branch office, which was established in Shimonoseki after the Osaka Branch Office was opened, was moved to Moji. City banks such as Mitsui Bank, Sumitomo Bank, Daiichi Ginko (First National Bank), and Yasuda Ginko (Yasuda Bank) were considerably dependent on the credibility of the Bank of Japan in the Meiji period (1868–1912). With the establishment of the Bank of Japan branch office, various city banks followed suit and set up branch offices and business offices in Shimonoseki, and in Moji on the opposite shore. The second reason is because that the Kanmon region was an important base for coal transportation, and transportation of goods was necessary between Japan and the Continent, including China and Korea, and between Kyushu and Honshu. Many trading companies, such as small-and-large coal merchants, and trade-related businesses were concentrated in the Kanmon region and grew while raising capital from various financial institutions to expand trade activities. Furthermore, the government-run Yawata Steel Works was created at the end of the Meiji period (1868–1912). Demand for funds was growing due to the prosperity and remarkable industrialization of the Kyushu region. As financial activities in the region slowed and capital (idle funds) was not being used because there were no investors and borrowers in places in the prefecture as well as Saga, Oita, Yamaguchi, and Hiroshima, the unused capital was concentrated in Moji. At the end of seasons such as bon and seibo, capital was furnished to the various areas from institutions such as city banks in Moji and Fujimoto Bill Broker Bank , one of the predecessors to Daiwa Securities. This kind of history speaks toillustrated how the fact that Moji used to bewas the financial center of western Japan.
Address：2-3-4 Kiyotaki, Moji-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture
Other/Notifications：Only the exterior can be viewed
Category: Constituent cultural properties
Genre: Story 3