Nankinmachi (Chinatown), Yokohama, c. 1910.

1920sCommerceNeighborhoods (Misc)Yokohama
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Nankinmachi (Chinatown), Yokohmama, c. 1910.

See also:
Yokohama Bluff, c. 1910.
Jizozaka, Yokohama, c. 1910.
French Consulate, Yokohama, c. 1910.
Bankoku Bridge, Yokohama, c. 1910.
Grand Hotel, Yokohama, c. 1910.
Motomachi Street, Yokohama, c. 1910.

“The history of the Chinese community in Yokohama dates from the opening of the port to overseas trade. The newly established foreign settlement quickly began to attract merchants, primarily from Britain and the United States. Most were sent by trading houses based in Hong Kong and Canton and were accompanied by Chinese compradors (agents engaged to manage the Chinese employees and act as business intermediaries) and domestic servants.

“… Once the first arrivals – compradors and employees of Western trading houses – had settled in the city, it was not before greater numbers followed in their footsteps, and a Chinese community began to develop in Yokohama. In 1864, five years after the port was opened, the Chinese population stood at just over one hundred; this had increased to 660 by 1867, and 1,002 by 1870. As the population grew, a Chinatown took shape.

“… On January 7, 1863, a 480-tsubo (1,589m2) site at No. 135 of the foreign settlement was leased by a Chinese social service community [and with the establishment of a Chinese theater there] the area quickly became a social center for the Chinese community. In 1878 the Chinese Consulate was also located at the same address … by 1878 about half of the foreign settlement’s Chinese population of 1,142 lived in this district.

“… As the foreign settlement grew and developed, Chinese tradesmen provided a variety of goods and services both to Westerners and to their own compatriots … What types of businesses were they engaged in? Many of the services that Western residents began to require in their daily lives were supplied by Chinese tradesmen. They worked as tailors, shoemakers, and barbers and made musical instruments, furniture, carriages, and even cakes and soft drinks. There were also Chinese-owned money-changing and printing shops.

“… The Chinese restaurant business – the occupation most typical of Yokohama’s Chinese residents today [1990] – did not became prevalent until later.”

Yokohama: Past and Present, edited by Kato Yuzo, Yokohama City University, 1990

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