The 59th National Bank, established in1878 as the first bank in Aomori Prefecture, built the main building of its head office in Hirosaki City in 1904, shortly after the privatization. The stately building in the picture is opened to the public now as the memorial hall of the Aomori Bank, which is the successor of the 59th Bank. This elegant two-storied wooden building with high floor height, designed to be suitable for a reliable bank, looks Western style. However the external walls are covered with plastered flat tiles to protect the building from fire. This construction technique is commonly seen among 'kura', the old Japanese warehouses, across the country. This building is, in short, a compromise between East and West.
The authorities once decided to demolish this precious building in 1965 though, the locals decisively raised an objection to claim eternal preservation. The price per square meter of this building at that time was by far the most expensive in Hirosaki, and it's said that this is the best work of Horie Sakichi, the leading master carpenter of the area. Consequently, this is on the list of important cultural assets of Japan.
Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
two-storied wooden building