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- SeriesDocuments on the Opening of the Port of Kobe
- The Port of Kobe, which is on par with that of Yokohama as one of Japan’s best-known ports, first opened to traffic from foreign countries on January 1, 1868. “Documents on the Opening of the Port of Kobe” is a collection comprised mainly of administrative documents processed by the Kobe Unjōsho (the Edo period harbor authority) and related entities, and letters written by then-Hyōgo Prefecture Governor Itō Hirobumi on his dealings with foreigners in connection with the port’s opening. The collection also includes a wide range of other materials related to the opening involving such matters as land and housing, money lending and borrowing, commercial transactions, and maritime transport.
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- [Material Contents] The "Documents on the Opening of the Port of Kobe" collection comprises materials that include the correspondence of ITO Hirobumi (the first Prime Minister and the first governor of Hyōgo Prefecture) along with administrative documents issued at the Kobe Customs House as well as those in the possession of headmen from villages near the port. Over the course of a records review conducted from FY2018 to FY2019, the Library discovered some 160 items that had already been organized from acid-free paper document boxes and wooden boxes which were stored near other boxes containing "Documents on the Opening of the Port of Kobe." All of the records in this particular collection are related to the opening of Kobe Port. However, the documents have never been included into the existing "Documents on the Opening of the Port of Kobe" collection, and hence were released for public viewing as "Supplement to the Documents on the Opening of the Port of Kobe." Furthermore, 16 of the letters in various European languages that were uncovered in FY2018 were transcribed and translated by Kobe University Graduate School of Humanities Professor Emeritus OTSURU Atsushi and made available in digital form.