Japanese Tsingtao – 青島市

Over-restored and over-renovated residential complex in the Japanese New City, misleadingly "re-branded" as the German Culture Town.

Over-restored and over-renovated residential complex in the Japanese New City, misleadingly “re-branded” as the German Culture Town.

In 1914, following Japan’s declaration of war on Germany – Japan was part of the Allies in World War I – the Empire of the Rising Sun occupied the former German colony of Tsingtao.

It would rule the city twice – the first time from 1914 to 1922, following which the city was returned to the Chinese Nationalist Government under Sun Yat Sen.  The city was occupied by the Japanese again, however, in 1938; and the second occupation would last till 1945 – following the end of World War II.

The Japanese built an entirely new city north of the coast-hugging German city.  They retained most of the original German architecture in the Old Town, inserting only a few pieces of architecture here and there – one example being the Concert Hall on the waterfront.

But their New City they built in the image of other colonies like Dairen and Keijo (Seoul). Along the main street were erected dozens of monumental buildings – many of which were local headquarters of major bank and trading corporations like the Chartered Bank of India, China and Australia (today’s Standard Chartered Bank), the Yokohama Specie Bank and the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank.  Amidst these banks stood the imposing Tsingtao (Japanese) Stock Exchange.

Today, this New City has been re-appropriated by the city authorities, immaculately restored and misleadingly re-named the “German Culture Town.”  Most of the buildings still stand, with many having been converted into residential condominiums; though it is unclear whether or not the German flourishes along the street are authentic or latter-day additions.

In the middle of it all, the Tsingtao Exchange stands dark and mute – one of the few buildings yet to be restored.  It houses a squatter colony today, but one can only hope that a new lease of life is nigh.

Chartered Bank of India, China and Australia (1925)

Chartered Bank of India, China and Australia (1925)

Yokohama Specie Bank (1919)

Yokohama Specie Bank (1919)

Bank of Communications (1913) - this is a Chinese bank built during the Nationalist era.

Bank of Communications (1913) – this is a Chinese bank built during the Nationalist era.

Probably another Bank Building...

Probably another Bank Building…

The Tsingtao branch of the Bank of Korea (a Japanese bank - because Korea was a colony of Japan at the time).

The Tsingtao branch of the Bank of Korea (a Japanese bank – because Korea was a colony of Japan at the time).

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation Headquarters (1917).

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation Headquarters (1917).

The Tsingtao Exchange (1920).

The Tsingtao Exchange (1920).

More Bank buildings...

More Bank buildings…

Probably another commercial building...

Probably another commercial building…

Modern-day residences

Modern-day residences

Modern-day residences

Modern-day residences

Modern-day residences

Modern-day residences

This building marks the end of the "German Culture town."

This building marks the end of the “German Culture town.”

The Tsingtao Concert Hall was built by the Japanese in 1934 and formally known as the Tsingtao Auditorium.  It sits on the waterfront beside the Zhanqiao Prince Hotel.

The Tsingtao Concert Hall was built by the Japanese in 1934 and formally known as the Tsingtao Auditorium. It sits on the waterfront beside the Zhanqiao Prince Hotel.

Tsingtao (Japanese) Middle School (1920) - does not sit in the New City but in the old, coastline-hugging German town.

Tsingtao (Japanese) Middle School (1920) does not sit in the New City but in the old, coastline-hugging German town.

 

 

About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Art & Architecture, China, Cities & Regions, Culture & Lifestyle, Landmarks & History, Photography, Travel & Mobility and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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