Yokohama Specie Bank

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Yokohama Specie Bank (横浜正金銀行, Yokohama Shōkin Ginkō) was a Japanese bank founded in Yokohama, Japan in the year 1880. Its assets were transferred to The Bank of Tokyo (now MUFG Bank) in 1946. The bank played a significant role in Japanese trade with China.[1] The original bank building is now the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History. During the Second World War the bank controversially acted as the paymaster for the Imperial Japanese Army as it conquered parts of Asia.

The Yokohama Specie Bank (now The Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History)
Kobe branch (now The Kobe City Museum)
Nagasaki branch
Shanghai, China branch
Beijing, China branch
Tianjin, China branch
Dalian, China branch
Honolulu, Hawaii branch
The Yokohama Specie Bank during WWII



  • 1879 – The National Bank Act establishes the Yokohama Specie Bank
  • 28 February 1880 – Bank officially opens
  • 1882 – YSB begins foreign exchange business
  • March 1883 – Rokuro Hara is brought in as president
  • 1887 – Yokohama Specie Bank Ordinance, and revision in 1889, establishes the YSB as an exchange bank, subject to stricter control than ordinary banks, but also eligible for support from the government and the Bank of Japan
  • 1946 – The Bank of Tokyo is designated to take over the business.
  • 1963 – Liquidation

International expansion[edit]

  • 1880 – YSB establishes an agency in New York
  • 1881 – YSB establishes its London sub-branch
  • 1884 – The London sub-branch is upgraded to a full branch
  • 1893 – YSB opens its Shanghai branch
  • 1910 – Honolulu, Hawaii branch opens in a building that the architect Harry Livingston Kerr designed.


  • 4 October 1918 – London branch sub-manager S. Ujie, his wife and three sons, together with bank employee Takashi Aoki and wife Sueko, die when German UBoat UB-91 sinks the Hirano Maru.[2][3]

Past presidents[edit]

See also[edit]

Media related to Yokohama Specie Bank at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ The Yokohama Specie Bank Building – built in 1924 (No. 24, The Bund) Archived 12 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "The Torpedoed "Hirano Maru"". The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser. 13 December 1918. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  3. ^ "独政府を相手に損害賠償の訴え". Osaka Asahi Shinbun. 10 July 1919. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  4. ^ Tamaki, Norio. (1995). Japanese banking: a History, 1859-1959, p. 120, p. 120, at Google Books

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]