The Cultural Heritage of SEOUL(TBS)

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  • Controlling finance in Joseon: The First Bank of Japan (former), Incheon branch

    SMG 1165
  • The First Bank of Japan (Incheon branch), which was reopened in 2010 as the Incheon Open Port Museum, began as the branch office of the First Bank of Japan (Busan branch)—the first modern financial institution in Korea. Designed by Japanese architect Niinomi Takamasa, construction began in August 1887 and was completed in 1899. The building has a Renaissance-style dome in the center of the roof and sunlight-absorbing dormer windows on either side, each with a holed parapet installed on the bas-relief eaves. Except for sand, gravel, and lime, all of the building materials (bricks, stone, cement, and wood) were imported from Japan. In particular, the outer wall was made from cut granite. From the outside, it looks like a single-story stone building, but it is actually a duplex with a ceiling height of seven meters. The roof was designed as a two-layered, slanted, four-sided mansard roof, while the interior was fitted with pillars to support the roof in order to make the space as wide as possible. Also, a balustrade was installed at a height of four meters to offer a view of bank activity below.

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