Chinatown, Kobe-city, Japan - 29th August 2011
Nankinmachi - Chinatown in Kobe
There are 3 large Chinatowns in Japan, in Yokohama, in Nagasaki and here in Kobe.
Nankinmachi looks more colorful than other Japanese areas. Coloring red is very cute.
Just like staying home, I have a good feeling now
Nankinmachi's origins date back to 1868, when Kobe's port was opened to foreigners, including Chinese immigrants from Canton, Fukien, and Samgong (Guangzhou, Fujian, Sanjiang). The newcomers settled in the western end of Kobe's foreign district, which soon became the focal point for subsequent Chinese migrants. During that time, the Chinese people were referred to as "people from Nanking" by the Japanese, hence the name "Nankinmachi"(Nanking Town). By the early 1920s, Nankinmachi was a vibrant area bustling with businesses, restaurants, and homes. That all changed, however, during the next two decades when many Chinese returned to China in response to Japan's expansion of Northeastern China, the Second Sino-Japanese War, and World War II. Destroyed during the allied bombings of Kobe, Nankinmachi was re-built after the war by the remaining Chinese community that stayed behind. In 1995, it was severely damaged during the horrific Great Hanshin Earthquake which killed nearly 6,000 people. It was quickly re-built, and once again thrives as the center of Chinese culture and activity throughout the Kansai region. There are currently 10,000 people residing in Kobe's Chinatown.