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Notes on the Geography of China: Shanghai:The Bund: Photo 11

world pictures China: Shanghai:The Bund

The tall building in the center is the 1937 Bank of China, from the outset Chinese owned and a key institution in the development of modern banking in China. On its right is the Yokohama Specie Bank, built in 1924 and later housing the Central Bank of China and then the China Industrial and Commercial Bank. Further right, the Yangtze Insurance Building (1916).

Nodding to Chinese tradition, the Bank of China building, designed by the firm of Palmer and Turner in collaboration with Lu Qianshou, incorporates slightly curling roof brackets or dougong.

The Yokohama Specie Bank is a useful reminder of the early Japanese presence in Shanghai, easily overlooked. In 1870, the city had 894 British residents, followed in second place by 255 Americans. The Japanese, with 7 residents, were outnumbered even by the Portuguese, Germans, and Spanish. By 1900, however, the Japanese had risen to second place with 736 residents, still well behind the British, with 2,691. By 1915, the Japanese had risen to first place, with 7,169 residents, well ahead of the 4,822 Brits. By 1930, the city had 18,478 Japanese residents and only 6,221 Brits. (Figures from Edward Denison ahd Guang Yu Ren's very useful Building Shanghai: The Story of China's Gateway, 2006.)

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