Yuraka Building, Yurakacho, Tokyo, c. 1930.

1940sArchitectureCommerceOccupation Era
Tagged with: , , , ,

Yuraku Building, Marunouchi, Tokyo, c. 1930. One of the dozens of rather nondescript office buildings in the Marunouchi business district that survived the Tokyo firebombings intact which, after Japan’s surrender, were turned into makeshift dormitories for the tens of thousands of Occupation administrative personnel. The Yuraku biru appears to be just down the street from the Mainichi shimbun offices and printing plant (white building in the distance, far left).

See also:
Aerial View of Yurakucho Theaters, c. 1935.
Yusen (Nippon Yusen Kaisha) Building, Marunouchi, c. 1930.
Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun (Newspaper), Yurakucho, c. 1930.

“I was assigned to a Calvary regiment located just outside of Tokyo and during the first day [of Occupation duty] there met several friends from Ft. Knox. I knew that I was going to like the new place but it was not to be. Some genius reviewing my file decided that because I had completed a year of freshmen engineering courses at Princeton that I should work at GHQ (general headquarters) in Tokyo in the division that was building dependent housing and swimming pools for generals.

“Next thing I knew I was billeted in downtown Tokyo in the Yuraka hotel, which was a BOQ (Bachelor Officers Quarters). There were five guys in my room on the third floor and from our windows was a grand view of the Mount Fuji, which was many miles away.

“Each floor had one large bathroom and shower area. The only water was in the bathroom and shower area. Because of this the maids were in and out of the bathroom and shower area, which made newcomers uncomfortable, but we soon got used to it. On the second floor there was a huge comfortable and well-appointed dining room that served superior food.

“The tables all had flowers on them which were replaced daily. Our seating arrangement was four to a table and there was a very ample supply of waitresses. One only had to nod and there was someone there to provide service. In addition there were a few nice cozy bars in the hotel and a facility where there was dancing and bar service most evenings.

“It’s fair to say that General MacArthur took good care of his headquarters operations people. Interestingly, back in the States a few politicians and journalists were carping about how the Occupation army lived in great style. As a consequence, a congressional investigating committee visited the Yuraka. During that [time they were here] we had no flowers, the food reverted to the more usual Army chow, and more than a few of the waitresses disappeared, went on vacation.”

You Should Be So Lucky”, by Philip J. Reilly Jr., 2014

Please support this site. Consider clicking an ad from time to time. Thank you!

· One thought below on “Yuraka Building, Yurakacho, Tokyo, c. 1930.

  1. Pingback: “Temporary Occupation housing surrounds the Imperial Diet”, Tokyo, c. 1950. | Old TokyoOld Tokyo

Comments are closed.