The New International Encyclopædia/Kōbé

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KŌBÉ, kō'bắ. A seaport of Japan, in the southern part of the island of Hondo, adjoining and lying to the northeast of the prefectural city of Hiogo. on the western shore of the bay of Osaka, and distant 22 miles by rail from the city of Osaka (Map: Japan, D 6). When Hiogo was opened in 1868 to foreign residence and trade, Kobé became the foreign residential quarter and the centre of trade, its numicipal affairs being managed by a council consisting of the prefect, the foreign consuls, and three elected members. It continued to be a separate town until 1892, when it was united with Hiogo. The city is situated along a fine sandy beach, at the base of a high coast range, and at the entrance to the far-famed ‘Inland Sea.’ It has a deep and safe harbor, and is connected by rail with all parts of the Hondo, or Main Island. It is in direct steam communication with China, Formosa, Hong Kong, Australia, Europe, and America, as well as with the other treaty ports. It has docks, railway shops, a fine wharf 450 feet long for ocean-going vessels, an Imperial ship-building yard (with patent slip accommodating vessels of 2000 tons burden), a paper-mill, and other manufactures, two foreign banks, two foreign and several native newspapers, hotels, churches, and clubs. It is within easy distance of Osaka, Kioto, and numerous places of picturesque beauty and historic interest; it is considered the most attractive of the treaty ports, as it probably is the most healthful. The bund or water-front of the settlement is faced with stone; the streets are wide, well kept, and lighted by electricity. Though opened much later than Nagasaki and Yokohama, Kobé has now taken first place in shipping as in volume of trade. In 1898 the total value of the latter was $98,730,213. In 1900, 1447 vessels (2,868,812 tons) entered port, by far the largest number being British. Germany came next, then France and the United States, each of which had less than one-tenth of Great Britain's number. Population, in 1898, 215,780, of whom 534 were British, 155 Americans, 155 Germans, and over 1000 Chinese. Population of the prefecture, 1,667,226.