Lodge 640 History [05]

Masonic Hall

The Inauguration of Lodge Star in the East took place in the Masonic Hall, Yokohama.

Soon after the opening of the port of Yokohama in 1859 a sizeable foreign community established itself in the area. In 1868 the Japanese government granted a plot of land at No. 170 Yamashitacho for the building of a Masonic Temple. The foundation stone was laid on March 1, 1869.

The following photograph and description appeared in The Far East of 5 January 1871 and was accompanied by a graphic description of the St John's Day Festival of 27 December 1870.

Masonic Hall

As a large quantity of space is in this issue devoted to an account of the Masonic banquet on St. John’s day, we give a photograph of the Masonic Hall. It is the only building that we are acquainted with in Japan, that is built solidly of stone, instead of, as most are, a framework with a mere outward shell of stone. It has withstood all the severe shocks of earthquake experienced in 1870, without a crack of any kind, either in external stone or interior plaster. Mr. Whitfield, of the firm of Whitfield and Dowson, Civil Engineers and Architects, designed it; and his opinion that well built houses may be constructed of stone, to resist earthquakes as effectually as the ordinary wooden framed houses, seems thus confirmed.