• Bank buildings of the Incheon Treaty-Port era, “18th and 58th Bank Buildings”

    SMG 972
  • During Korea’s modernization period, the street in front of Incheon’s Jung-gu Office was the center of Japanese leased territory. Shaped like a grid, the street was also the center of Japanese finance in Incheon.

    In front of the old Japanese consulate (presently Jung-gu Office), there were three private banks. The numbers attached to the banks were their license numbers according to the ordinance of the national bank of Japan.

    After Korea’s liberation, the 18th Bank building housed banks and commercial offices, but is now used to exhibit modern architecture from the Incheon Treaty-Port era and houses miniatures of modern architectural structures that have been lost or preserved. Just next to it stands a two-stry stone building that was once the 58th Bank, with its head office in Osaka.

    The interior of these buildings have been changed somewhat due to repairs and renovations carried out so they could be used as banks and offices, but the exterior walls and pillars and left and right vertical windows still retain their original shapes and styles. These Japanese financial institutions were regarded as forward bases for exploitation; however, during Incheon Treaty-Port era, and even now, they attract the attention of citizens and tourists as cultural properties reminiscent of Korea’s past.