impossible. In fact this was one of the main reasons for the later aggressive expansions of the Japanese Empire.
In order to relieve the shortage of money and in an attempt to keep control of its national economy, the Japanese Empire established a series of modern and international banks, not all of which were succesful. The Yokohama Specie Bank was, among things due to its pivotal role in the financing of Japanese Operations in annexed Manchuria, specifically railways. The Yokohama Species Bank went on to have branches across the Pacific Ocean Area. In 1886 Yokohama Specie Bank was the first Japanese Agency offering services for foreign exchange and trade to open an office in San Francisco in the USA.(Eisuke Ono (Yoko Ono's father) is transferred to the YSB San
Beijing, DongCheng District
The lawful successors of the Yokohama Specie Bank are not willing to open their archives. Further, it is unlikely that documents survived to this day for the reason that between August 14th and 24th, 1945, the army ordered that all documents incriminatory to Japan, the emperor, the army, the air force and the navy or their personnel be destroyed.
In 1947, for this reason, Yokohama Specie Bank became The Bank Of Tokyo, Ltd, at first under close scrutiny of the American Occupiers, Victors of world war 2.
The Yokohama Specie Bank Branch in the Beijing Legations has some famous and equally historic counterparts. The first counterpart is the Yokohama Specie Bank Building at the worldfamous "Bund" of Shanghai, This famous building, now
This page was last updated: June 29, 2017
The Capital Hotel with its magnificient view of Tianan Men and the Forbidden City is located just East of QianMen and stands overlooking the entire city center.
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been forced to modernize by events between the 2nd opium war (arrow war) and the abdication of Pu Yi.
North of this compound the Wall on the East Flank extends further as part of the former Palace of Prince Su (Su Wang Fu). In the early days of the Boxer Siege of 1900 AD, on the 1st of July, Japanese forces originating from the Japanese Legation compound on East Legation Street disrupted Chinese positions beyond Su Wang Fu initiating the Japanese role in the Defense of the Legations. After the 1900 AD War the redundant Superviscerate was annexed by the Japanese and made part of their Legation. The arched Gate seen today then became the main gate of the enlarged Japanese Legation.
The Japanese legation has long since been destroyed out of anger over Japanese War Crimes and other
Bronze Girl playing the Guzheng, a ancient asian snare instrument. In the backgrounds the Grey Wall barring any views of the Ministry of Public Security, the National Police Ministry. Several such Art Pieces adorn the middle section of the Road.
View of the Main Gate into Today's Beijing Municipal Government Compound (Guard pointing - stop that Camera).
Beijing Police on Leisure Time loitering at Zheng Yi Lu in the middle of Beijing Police, Security and City Government District. Are you feeling safe, or unsafe now ?
A Look through Zheng Yi Road's middle Park-like section from near its Northern entry from East Chang An (Eternal Peace) Avenue.
Zheng Yi Lu's collection of bronze and stone statues strangely illustrate the strange imbalance of this inner city street, torn between rushing traffic, stalled cars, and the green park-like lane running along its middle section with its readers, students, old men sleeping and the like (Photo-May 2005).
Although Zheng Yi and other Beijing Road's are increasingly clogged with Cars, off busy hours the Road still retains some of its Lane like charm to catch some afternoon rest in. Read a Book and Relax.
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One of the first roads in Beijing to be adorned with bilingual street signs was Zheng Yi Road. Follow the signs and easily find your way.
One of Zheng Yi Road's Highlights, The Minsheng Bank, a Building in clearly recognizable Post Colonial European Style. It was once the site of the Yokohama Specie Bank and is one of the best preserved and most recognizable remnants of the Former Foreign Legation Quarter.
Some strange Birds may Cross your Path at Zheng Yi Road. This rare street peddler sells Dummy Chicken in name of the Year of the Rooster.
Schematic Map of the 1900 AD Legation Quarter and its defenses. Includes location of Main Legations and all of todays Legation Quarter historic remnants !
Hanlin Academy (Hanlin Yuan) Remnants on Zheng Yi Road
After passing the Walls of the former British Legation on the West Flank of Zheng Yi Road once comes to the site of a new and modern Ministery, constructed since the year 2002 AD. When gates are open one can still see the remnants of what are clearly historic buildings, resembling an old Temple of some sorts. This however is not an ancient Temple but the remnants of the former Hanlin Academy. The High School of Confucian Scholars who were in direct advisory roles to the Emperor.
British Legation Remnants on Zheng Yi Road
North of the arched Gate of the superviscerate and across from the Palace of Prince Su compound lies the Former British Legation stretched along the West Flank of Zheng Yi Lu.
The Legation was founded on June 20, 1861 AD, even while negotiations to end the Second Opium War (arrow war) where ongoing. The legation was established in a complex of buildings leased from an absentee descendant of the Kangxi emperor (r. 1662 AD -1722 AD) of the Ching Dynasty. It was the largest legation compound in the Beijing Legations, signifying the importance of Britain as most powerful colonial Empire, as well as its role as the leading agitator against the Chinese.
The Hanlin Academy was the depository of a large number of ancient books and scriptures, having a famous Library.
During the Boxer War the rebels allegedly set fire to a housing block, and later even the Hanlin Academy and the Mongol Market more to the South, in an attempt to smoke out the defenders of the British Legation. These attacks that took place on the night of June the 17Th and the 23rd of June 1900 AD consecutively, destroyed part of the compound. The British however, organized a fire brigade of volunteers, including wives, who fought the blaze under Chinese crossfire. The gathered force managed to put some of the fire out, preventing the spread of the fire to the British compound and
Yokohama Species Bank on Legations Street of Beijing
The Yokohama Specie Bank, Yokohama Shokin Ginko, was created in Japan in 1880 AD Fukuzawa en Okuma. It was designed as an instrument of Japanese Colonialism and Aggression and from its very beginnings was chartered by the Imperial Japanese government to act as agents overseas. The word Specie in the name of the Bank does not refer to cement but to the shortage of gold & silver, in other words, hard currency inside the Empire of Japan in the 19Th Century.
When Japan was violently forced by the american Navy to open its harbors for trade, one of the results was a net flow of silver and gold rapidly leaving the country. The Japanese Empire fell into desperate cash-shortage making the financing of industrial modernizations
View of the new Foreign Ministry at Chang An Avenue, constructed after 2002 AD and finished in 2005 AD. The Ministry Main Gate is another heavily guarded gate located on former West Legations Street. Once again it is strictly off limits to photography.
office just weeks before Yoko's birth in 1932 AD). The Bank would remain one of the Pillars and Emblems of the Japanese Empire untill World War 2 put an eventual end to its business.
After world war 2 the Yokohama Specie Bank was severely implicated in Japanese War Crimes during the past War. Among accusations made against them are that all posessions gathered from foreign citizens of overseas colonies (Singapore, Hong Kong, Dutch East-Indies, Phillippines, etc) were received and then cashed by the Yokohama Specie Bank, a fact for which it has neither apologized nor payed indemnities or damages.
There was another issue - the question of the relief fund raised by the Allied countries on behalf of their starved nationals in the Japanese camps in Asia. This fund amounted to 100 million Swiss Francs, which was received and managed by the Yokohama Specie Bank. The Money never arrived.
View of Zheng Yi Lu ending at Chan An Avenue. Further West behind Trees lies the Foreign Ministry after which the National Museum of History and TiananMen Square follow.
Appropriate White Marble Statue of an arduous Chinese Girl reading while trying to block out the Cities' Noise.
Modernizations in the green olympic city of Beijing. The 1st Solar Powered Public Toilet in Beijing at Zheng Yi Road.
View of the construction entrance of the new foreign Ministry awarding a rare glimpse of the Hanlin Academy remnants inside the Gate.
The Branch of Yokohama Specie Bank in Honolulu, Hawaii (USA).
10 Dollar Bills issued by the Yokohama Species Bank.
Branch of the Yokohama Species Bank in Shanghai (Historic Photo).
View of the Yokohama Species bank. To the left on Zheng Yi Road lies the Former Japanese Legation, to the right East legations Street.
the Shanghai Textile Holding Corporation is a seven-floor building on the Waterfront of Shanghai and was completed in the 1920s. It was built by architects P & T Architects Limited (Palmer and Turner). The other historic Branch of the Bank is the Yokohama Specie Bank at the corner of Merchant and Nuuanu in the historic center of Honolulu, Hawaii (USA). The Honolulu Branch with its terracotta step-up, is a favorite with tourists and locals alike. It was built in Honolulu in 1910 AD and has since been regarded as one of the finest buildings in the City.
Zheng Yi Lu nowadays is a larger Park-Like connecting street between QianMen Dong Dajie' in the South and Main Boulevard Dong Chang 'An ( East Eternal Peace ) Avenue in the North. Once part of the Rich and Elite European Foreign Legation Quarter. Move North on Zheng Yi Lu to find the next historic location in this street.
Webstyle produced NavBar
Webstyle produced NavBar
,which accounts for its uniformed and heavily armed guards, the close circuit TV cameras and the occasional black limousine speeding rudely into the way of traffic at Zheng Yi Lu. Have a look at the Gate and armed guards. Then follow the Wall up north while studying the
impressive security measures. Don't go an make photos of the Gate as this is
explicitly forbidden and may very well land you in trouble.
Leadership of the Organization the Defense of The Legation Quarter during the summer of 1900 AD Boxer Siege fell to
After passing up Zheng Yi Road from QianMen Dongdajie' and the former Hotel Des Wagons-Lits, Zheng Yi Lu comes to its intersection with Jiaomin Alley, the former Legations Street of the Colonial Era in China and Beijing. This is the location of what in the times of the Legations was the "south bridge" spanning the imperial
Canal. Here one can go in all directions, West into the Western stretch of the Legations Street where the American Embassy, the former Hong Kong Bank, Banque De L'Indo-Chine, Imbecks Hotel & Store, the Russo-Chinese bank
remnants and last but not least the Dutch Legation were located.
Turn East into East Legations Street to find among things the French Post Office, French Legation and the historic Roman Catholic Cathedral to the Legations. The Cathedral not only has its inspiring Gothic Architecture unique to China, but knows a long and interesting history. In between lie more sites with short stories !
North and up Zheng Yi Lu leads on to more Legations relics such as the former British and Japanese legations. After passing the remains of the Hanlin Academy and a new Modern Foreign Ministry, Zheng Yi Road leads up to the North Bridge, which tunneled underneath Chang An Avenue.
Superviscerate and Prince Su Palace on Zheng Yi Road
On the East Flank (right hand side) of Zheng Yi Road lies a large and heavily secured compound easily recognized by its impressive arched gate complete with red star, gold ornamentation and even some machine gun toting PLA Soldiers.
This was once the entrance into the Former Superviscerate of Instruction, a large compound between Zheng Yi Lu, Marco Polo Road and East legation Street (Dongjiaomin Lu) on which not much historic information can be found. It was part of the Imperial Qing Bureaucracy after the dwindling monarchy had
Senior British Administrator Sir Claude Maxwell MacDonald (1852-1915 AD), who
was the Head of the British
(Imperial) Foreign Service and British Foreign Minister in Beijing at the Time.
An attempt was made to smoke out the and burn the defenders in the British Legation on the night of June the 17Th 1900AD.
The attempt was only partially succesful and did not force the british surrender.
After 1901 AD and the ending
Treaty of the "Boxer War", a barracks was added to the
Photo from Chancery Lane in the British Legation before Summer 1900 AD - Available from the National University of Australia !
historical and political issues and as far as is known today, nothing remains but the remoddeled gate with the gun toting guards.
Today the extensive grounds are occupied by the Ministry of Public Security, which
British Legation. For this purpose, the Palace Mansion of Prince Su across from St. Michael's Church on East Legation Street, which was burned down in the summer 1900's city battle, was made Legation property and converted.
preserving at least the South-East Corner of the Academy for later history. Many of the irreplacable books, original silk-bound volumes, went up in flames however. Many, if not most others were looted by various Europeans and americans hanging around and defending the Legations area. Some doubt remains on who really set the fire at the Hanlin Academy. Some have argued it wasn't the Boxers, others have argued it wasn't the Library but adnex buildings that burned.
Whichever way it may be, the remaining buildings exactly mark the line held inside the Hanlin Acedemy grounds by British Soldiers in the 1900 AD Boxer Siege. The other party, the boxers were located at the outer Wall of the Imperial City at the north side of Chang An Avenue. As can be seen, recently the site of this ancient and important historic relic, the Hanlin Academy, has been preserved inside the grounds of the new Foreign Ministry.
After passing the new Foreign Ministry Grounds Zheng Yi Road terminates at the former location of the "North Bridge", where the Imperial Canal tunneled underneath this ancient and vital city thoroughfare.
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Map of The Beijing Legations Quarter in 1916 AD
Schematic Map of the 1916 AD Beijing Legation Quarter, between 1861 AD - and 1919 AD home of the Colonial Embassies in Beijing,
Map depicts the Former Legations Quarter including details of the Southern City Walls and Beijing's First Railway Station (QianMen) as well as the smaller TiananMen Square of 1916 AD. Further on this Map the Location of ALL Legations of Various European and other Colonial Nations plus Todays remaining remnants and sights of the Beijing (Former) Legation Quarter.
Short Summary of Streets in the Legations Quarter with their historic relevance is included !
Read More in the 11 Page Report on the Legations Quarter of Today.