Monday, 6 August 2012

Oriental Hotel, Kobe

The Oriental Hotel originally opened in Kobe, Japan in 1870. The hotel was at the junction of Kyōmachi-suji Avenue and Nakamachi-dōri Street in the former Foreign Settlement (Concession) in Kobe.The above postcard shows the third generation building opened in 1907 and destroyed in 1945 in WW2. 1945.

Lowry refers to the hotel in his novel Ultramarine during Dana'a drift around the red light district of Dairen - while Dana is waiting for a film to start adverts appear on the screen; "The American Hatoba, the Oriental Hotel, and the Kyo-Bashi...Oh these infernal advertisments on the screen!" ( Pg.98) and again "......I thought, as we passed an hotel, the Oriental, blazing with light." (Pg. 100). It is not impossible that adverts for the Japanese mainland may have been advertised in Japanese occupied Manchuria. Or it might be Lowry simply transposing Kobe into Dairen.

The photographs below circa 1930 as the hotel would have been when Lowry visited Kobe.

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