Tokyo Bankers’ Association Building, Marunouchi, Tokyo, c. 1950.

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Tokyo Bankers’ Association Building, Marunouchi, Tokyo, c. 1950, when purposed as the American Red Cross headquarters during the Occupation. In the present day, only a facade of two walls remain from this original club designed in a “Queen Anne” style by Kitaro Matsui in 1916.

See also:
Mitsui Bank, Nihonbashi, c. 1905.
Nippon Ginko (Bank of Japan) & Mitsui Bank, Nihonbashi, c. 1910.
Yamaguchi Bank Building, Nihonbashi, c. 1920.

“The origin of the Tokyo Bankers’ Association dates back to 1877, when Mr. (now Baron) Eiichi Shibusawa, the then-President of the First National Bank, established an association called the ‘Takuzen Kwai’ with a view to effecting co-operation among banks in the city.

“The Association was composed of national and private banks, eleven in number, the First National Bank, the Fifteenth Bank and the Mitsui Bank being Directors. These banks held a conference once a month in the office of the Association established in the First National Bank. The number of members gradually increased to 30, when the Takuzen Kwai was dissolved and the Tokyo Bankers’ Association was organized by a committee previously appointed, consisting of the Third, Sixth, Twentieth, Thirty-third, and One Hundredth National Banks. That was in September 1880.

Map: Location of the Tokyo Bankers Bldg. (red square) in 1945 vis-a-vis the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Central Station.

“In December, 1886, the Association commenced the publication of a monthly called the Ginko Tsushin-roku (Bankers’ Reports) for the mutual benefit of the members, giving in it valuable reports contributed by them. The monthly published by the Association was highly welcomed by business men in general.

“Owing to the gradual increase in the number of members the Association later established the Bankers’ Club for the recreation of the members. Some time afterwards the Association appointed Baron Eiichi Shibusawa President, and Messrs. Ryohei Toyokawa and Kokichi Sonoda Vice-Presidents, when the members numbered 144, representing 54 banks.

“In December, 1910, the Association was reorganized into a corporate juridical person, and at the same time articles of association were drawn up. The total amount of the funds is fixed at ¥150,000. Directors are composed of one President and two Vice-Presidents, who are to be elected from among the members. An ordinary general meeting is called in January and July each year, and an extra general meeting may be convened whenever deemed necessary by the Directors. Only those banks having head or branch offices either in the Capital or Yokohama are qualified for membership.

“In order to meet the increasing expansion of the business, a site was chosen at No. 5, Nichome Yurakucho, Kojimachi in October, 1913, for the construction of a new and larger building. The office was completed in September of the following year and opened on September 26th, 1916. At present the Association is affiliated with 67 banks. The monthly published by the Association, referred to above, was at first intended for circulation among bankers only, but constant efforts to improve it and keep in line with the best magazines of the world, won for it such popularity that it was welcomed by all business men throughout the land.

“In 1897, at a meeting of the Tokyo Bankers’ Association a resolution was passed to further improve the magazine both in its style and contents. Since then, while giving full records of all domestic topics of material interest to bankers it has devoted a large share of its space to the economic and financial outlook of the world at large.”

Japan in the Taisho Era: In Commemoration of the Enthronement, Compiled by Iwata Nishizawa, 1917

The Banker’s Association Building (circled), Marunouchi, Tokyo, c. 1965, nearby the Palace Hotel (foreground).

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