Lodge Hiogo & Osaka No. 498 
Kobe Base Masonic Club 1946
Copy of a Circular issued in 1946 to Lodges in connection with Brethren who joined the Kobe Base Masonic Club.
THE KOBE BASE MASONIC CLUB
Kobe, Honshu, Japan
“Masonic Greetings from “The Land of The Rising Sun.”
There was a time, not many months past, when such a greeting would not have been possible in an open letter of this sort. In fact, just one year ago, at this particular time there were several of our Brothers imprisoned and persecuted in the jails of this very city and the surrounding cities of this area because of their connection with the Masonic Lodge. Some of these Brothers were severely beaten and tortured in attempts, by the Japanese militarists, to secure from them the secrets of a Master Mason, or the Master’s Word.
It is needless to state that these secrets were not violated and that these men remained true to their obligations. Masonry still lives in Japan, as it does, and will live throughout the rest of the world as long as there are men who remain true to those moral teachings and principles which have made it possible for the institution of Masonry to stand the test of time over the centuries of the past.
Sometime around the middle of August 1945, the Armed Forces of the United States first set foot on Japanese soil just prior to the official end of the war on September 2, 1945. On this eventful day in August the Masonic Brothers mentioned above were liberated from the jails of Japan and allowed to start on the road back to health and well-being.
The first attempt to revive our order in Japan was highly successful and resulted in the organization of the Tokyo Bay Masonic Club in Yokohama some three or four months after the initial landings.
Along in the middle of March 1946 four G.I.’s got together here in Kobe and decided it was time for such a club in this particular area and a meeting was called for March 24, 1946 for the purpose of creating this particular organization.
As a result of this first meeting the Kobe Base Masonic Club was organized and has grown quite steadily from the 15 United States soldiers and 1 United States civilian at that meeting, to the present membership of over 70 which is composed of Masons from many parts of the world, and of many nationalities — Americans, French, British, German, Dutch, Spanish, Danish, Panamanian and Jugoslavian. Our membership is made up of both military and civilian members and a good many of the civilians are members of one of the three Masonic Lodges which existed here in Kobe prior to the time when the Japanese government made their futile attempt to crush Masonry in this part of the world.
The Masonic Hall here was completely destroyed during the bombing of the city and many of the jewels, records and other properties of these lodges are at the present time either completely destroyed or unaccounted for.
Our regular weekly meetings are held in the German Club building which was only partially destroyed by fire as a result of incendiary bombs and the club is open daily from 2:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M., for the rest and relaxation of all Masons who happen to be in the vicinity and care to take advantage of it.
As a result of this renewed activity an attempt is being made to re-open Lodge Hiogo & Osaka No. 498, S.C., here in Kobe and continue the ritualistic work and the true pursuit of Masonry from the point where it was interrupted some seven or eight years ago. It is needless to say that this attempt will, of course, be successful and it will again be possible to meet as Masons and bring new members into our midst who will in turn do their part to each and carry on that system of morality which has already stood the test of time, and with the help of God will grow even stronger as the future years pass by.
All of the above is merely a preliminary to the announcement that, on, we were favored with a visit from Brother of your lodge and are now proud to have him as one of our fellow members in the Kobe Base Masonic Club.
Sometime, in the future, this Brother will again be able to sit among you and will be able to tell you many of the interesting aspects of his Masonic associations here in Japan which cannot be related in this rather short communication with you. We sincerely hope that, as the world grows smaller, in the years to come Masonry will in turn grow steadily stronger and Brothers from all parts of the world will be able to sit in Masonic Communication with each other and put forth every effort to use their Masonic teachings for the furtherance of peaceful association among all men throughout the world so that Masons not yet born as well as those now living, and the people of all creeds and nationalities will never again have to experience another war which might well mean the ends of civilization as we know it today. Let us hope and pray that what would remain in it’s place will never be known.
Yours for Masonry throughout the world,
The Kobe Base Masonic Club,
Yamamoto, Dori, 2 Chome No. 30,
Note: In the event that you might have occasion to correspond with us in the future, please address all communications in the following manner:
Kobe Base Masonic Club,
APO 317, c/o P.M.,
San Francisco, California.