Copyright (C) 2000 by Slavic Research Center,Hokkaido University.
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Building Construction in Southern Sakhalin During the Japanese Colonial Period (1905-1945)

- Buildings, Architects, Contractors and Construction sections of Government Offices -

Hiroshi Itani, Takeshi Koshino, Yukihiro Kado


The purpose of this article is to focus on building construction done by Japanese administrative offices on the Island of Sakhalin south of latitude 50 degrees north. The period dealt with in this article is the time when southern Sakhalin was colonized by Japan between 1905 and 1945. That period is defined as “the Japanese colonial period” in this article.
In the area of modern Japanese architectural history, although little is known about building construction on Sakhalin except for the information in our reports,1 there are numerous studies dealing with other Japanese colonies in the first half of the 20th century. For example, the former Manchuria, the Korean peninsula and Taiwan2 have been dealt with in other studies. Such a delay in the studies of this area has been caused by severe restrictions on travel to Sakhalin and by the scattered location of unfiled handwritten material stored in libraries and archives all over Japan.
However, the circumstances surrounding studies on Sakhalin have improved for the better. For example, a comparative relaxation of travel restrictions and improvements in the reference material situation have been seen lately. Thus, we have been conducting studies since 1995, and have already published 11 papers in scholarly journals of the Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ) and its Hokkaido branch.3 This article is based on a review of these papers and includes substantial revisions. We hope that the people of Sakhalin will become familiar with our studies and become more interested in the architecture from the Japanese period. One important point is that proposals for friendship associations and links between Sakhalin and Hokkaido made in November, 1998, refer to the “investigation, study, repair and preservation of buildings and ruins in southern Sakhalin dating from the Japanese period.” According to our survey in 1996 and 1997, probably over 100 Japanese buildings are still extant in various locations around Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Korsakov and Kholmsk.4 However, most of them are damaged and have not been adequately evaluated. Therefore, historical research is required to conduct a legitimate evaluation. In addition, it is essential to devise appropriate protective measures, but this is beyond the scope of this article.
This article consists of three sections. In the first section, we outline administrative building construction and details of Sakhalin society before the Japanese colonial period. In the second section, we deal with the first urban construction at Korsakov (the former Odomari), the capital relocation to Toyohara (the former Vladimirovka, Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk today), the first construction at Toyohara, the two architects, Yasushi Tamura and Kozo Yukawa and the contractor Yoneshichi Endo. In the third section we deal with large scale building construction at Toyohara from 1929 to 1931, centering on the career of the architect Yoshio Kaizuka and his work.
This article uses Japanese names used in colonial days for each geographic designation and building name for the sake of convenience, but as occasion arises, each Russian name existing today is shown between parentheses.

1. Historical Background

1-1. Outline of Administrative Building Construction
During the Japanese colonial period, southern Sakhalin had three official governmental divisions: the Headquarters of the Karafuto Guards (1905-1913), the Civil Administration of Karafuto (1905.8.28-1907.3.31), and the Karafuto-Cho [the local government of Karafuto] (1907.4.1-1947.11.23). We deal chiefly with these construction sections and their members and activities. In the beginning of the Japanese colonial period, dispite the urgent necessities, the Civil Administration could not construct sufficient office buildings and officers’ housing. The main reason for this situation was that the Civil Administration was a provisional government under the control of the Karafuto Guards and did not have a sufficient budget. According to the Civil Administration’s budget for fiscal 1906,5 only several buildings and structures were built in Korsakov: namely, the House of Detention, the Hospital, the Lighthouse, the Fisheries Experimental Station at Rakuma (the completion date was in or after 1907), and some official residences. The provisional government was short-lived and constructed few buildings, so it is not necessary to examine building construction of the Civil Administration at any length. Rather, we will describe the first urban construction at Odomari (Korsakov).
On April 1, 1907, the Karafuto-Cho was established at Korsakov. It had greater and more extensive authority than other domestic prefectural governments and was responsible for administering rail roads, postal services, and financial matters. Obviously, the government needed many buildings. In addition, it was decided that the Karafuto-Cho would be relocated to New Vladimirovka and that the new capital Vladimirovka would be built near the southernmost part of old Vladimirovka. That decision resulted in large-scale construction and engineering work at the new capital which was named Toyohara and later renamed Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
The Karafuto Guards also needed to build offices, barracks and officers housing for their own two battalions. Those buildings had been built at Toyohara between 1907 and 1909. Thus, the buildings for the Karafuto Guards and Karafuto-Cho at Toyohara probably were built simultaneously, for the construction at Toyohara had almost finished by the end of 1909. The architect who played a central role in the first construction at Toyohara was Yasushi Tamura (1878-1942). Kozo Yukawa (1853-1915) was one of the most important architects involved in early construction boom in southern Sakhalin. His achievements were indispensable for modern building construction during the Meiji Era. We will focus on these two architects in the next section.
Twenty years later, around 1929, large scale building construction by the Karafuto-Cho was begun again. Several ferro-concrete administrative buildings were built at Toyohara and Konuma (Novo-Aleksandrovsk today). The second construction period at Toyohara, however, had almost finished by 1931, and the construction section of the Karafuto-Cho almost never erected new ferro-concrete buildings after 1940 except for the new Karafuto-Cho building built in 1945.
The most remarkable architect in the construction section of the Karafuto-Cho after 1930 was undoubtedly Yoshio Kaizuka, who designed representative buildings in the Japanese colonial period: the Museum of the Karafuto-Cho (used by the Sakhalin Regional Museum today), and the Central Industrial Laboratory of the Karafuto-Cho (used by the Russian Academy of Sciences at Novo-Aleksandrovsk today) and others. That he was a lesser-known architect is not important. What matters is rather that his constructions were the most sophisticated of all Sakhalin’s buildings. We will deal with Yoshio Kaizuka in more detail in the third section.

1-2. Before the Japanese Colonial Period
First of all, Sakhalin’s social conditions which influenced building construction before the Japanese colonial period are worth mentioning.
Since the middle of the 19th century there were several disputes between Russia and Japan over Sakhalin’s sovereignty. For a certain time, both nations lived through a period of “zakkyo” [co-existence] without determining who had won political control of Sakhalin Island. Toshiyuki Akizuki has examined such relationships between Russia and Japan in full detail.7 Akizuki has illustrated that Russia wanted to occupy Sakhalin to assure an overseas route from Amur to the Pacific Ocean.8 Because of this limited purpose, Russia was not interested in the development of Sakhalin throughout the 19th century.
In 1875, the Treaty for the Exchange of Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands was ratified by Russia and Japan. As a result, Russia took possession of Sakhalin and used it as a penal colony for major criminals. In 1890, the eminent Russian writer Chekhov visited Sakhalin and wrote Sakhalin Island, which gives a detail description of Sakhalin’s society in those days.
The penal colony of Sakhalin was, needless to say, an underdeveloped area. In 1899, Sakhalin’s population of 31,884 included 21,667 prisoners (65.9%).9 The penal colony prisoners had developed small villages in various locations on Sakhalin.
Southern Sakhalin had only one city, Korsakov, at that time. Korsakov had about 500 people, the Japanese Consulate and a small Japanese colony in the valley called Kushun Kotan. That Japanese colony derived from the “Karafuto Basho,” a fishery outpost and trading post for trade between indigenous peoples and Japanese on Sakhalin, founded in 1790.10 That is to say, Korsakov was the oldest Japanese colony. This town, however, was almost destroyed by fire during the Russo-Japanese War. Traffic networks between villages were intentionally undeveloped for security purposes. So were harbors. Consequently, at the beginning of the Japanese colonial period, Japan had to construct not only new towns and buildings but also all sorts of infrastructure: roads, harbors, bridges, railroads, waterworks and electrical supply lines etc.

2. The First Construction Boom (1907-1909)and Its Architects

2-1. The First Urban Construction at Korsakov
At first, we will deal briefly with the Russo-Japanese War in Sakhalin and the aftermath of urban construction at Korsakov.
Shinobu Oe expressed the view that toward the close of the war, in June 1905, Japan planned to occupy Sakhalin to gain an advantage in the coming peace treaty with Russia. He also stated that Japan has never occupied or made any inroads upon any other Russian territory since the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War.11 This viewpoint gives us valuable information which sheds light on the character of construction in the first decade of the colonial period. In particular, since the Japanese purpose in occupying Sakhalin was not the possession of Sakhalin itself, Japan had no plan regarding the colonial administration of Sakhalin after the Russo-Japanese War. Inevitably, the staffs of local governments (the Civil Administration and the Karafuto-Cho) had to learn by trial and error when building a colonial administration.12
In July, 1905, the Thirteenth Division of the Imperial Army of Japan was organized for the purpose of occupying Sakhalin and dispatched to the island. The Japanese Army occupied Korsakov on July 23 while Korsakov was set on fire by withdrawing Russian soldiers and, as we have noted, burned almost completely. Although the Japanese Army met strong resistance by the Russian Army at Vladimirovka, the entire Sakhalin was occupied by Japan on August 1.
Soon after that, the Headquarters of the Thirteenth Division established a military administration at Aleksandrovsk, the largest city in northern Sakhalin. At this point the Thirteenth Division probably was replaced by the new brigade Karafuto Guards. The Civil Administration was also established all at once. However, the Portsmouth Peace concluded between Russia and Japan on September 3 determined that northern Sakhalin would be returned to Russia and that Japanese offices had to be relocated in some other area in southern Sakhalin. Eventually, the Headquarters of the Karafuto Guards and the Civil Administration of Karafuto were established at Korsakov which had been mostly destroyed and contained only a few houses. Accordingly, the officials and administrators had to construct their own houses.
In addition, from August 1905, numerous Japanese people voyaged to Sakhalin to seek various advantages, such as fishery rights, the rights to land-ownership and other profits to be gained in the new territory.13 However, since land and housing readjustment was not finished by the Civil Administration at Korsakov, this influx of setters resulted in disordered and unauthorized building construction. Most of the immigrants began to build crude houses or shanties all over the town according to their individual personal discretion. The Civil Administration hurried land claim readjustment and issued an ordinance called “Tochi Kashitsuke Kisoku” [the Land Lease Ordinance] on September 3, 1905. Probably this regulation was worked out as a temporary measure by administrators who lacked any knowledge of building construction and city planning, and it was very different from standard Japanese ordinances and later methods of land division and allotment in southern Sakhalin. Nevertheless, this was the first urban planning ordinance in southern Sakhalin during the Japanese colonial period.
This ordinance stated mainly that immigrants who wanted to reside permanently could lease a piece of land (a 105 tsubo area) according to priority, and that the settlers had to start the construction of their own buildings within 30 days. Following these two conditions, the Civil Administration set out to hasten preparations for winter housing for immigrants and to construct the new city in an organized way. Although this measure did not bear fruit immediately,14 the feature of Korsakov began to improve gradually.
According to Shinsen Odomari shi [the History of Odomari - New Edition], the main urban area of Korsakov had been developed and laid out by the Civil Administration by 1908. As a result, the general appearance of Korsakov became that of a huge horseshoe surrounding a coastal terrace called “Kaguraoka.” It is important to note that the unique urban form of Korsakov was made by the urban planning carried out in the early Japanese colonial period.

2-2. Army Architect Yasushi Tamura and His Work

Fig.1.Yasushi Tamura

Yasushi Tamura (Fig. 1) was one of the most important architects in the Japanese colonial period. In all probability, Tamura was the key person involved in all official building construction during the early colonial period since he was the only architect who worked concurrently on construction projects for both the Karafuto Guards and the Karafuto-Cho and, in addition, many buildings in those days were similar in their architectural style. In particular, the Official Residence for the Commander of the Karafuto Guards (Fig. 2) had obvious similarities to the Official Residence for the Governor General of the Karafuto-Cho (Fig. 3).
Yasushi Tamura15 was born in Tokyo on October 24, 1878. His obituary states that the Tamura family was of noble blood with an ancient lineage. In fact, his cousin, Yoshiaki Tamura, held the title of viscount.
Tamura graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in July, 1905. As soon as he graduated, he entered the army and was promptly dispatched to Sakhalin as an assistant engineer on August 11, 1905. At this time, he was ordered to support and direct construction of Army buildings under the supervision of the construction chief (probably an accountant), and to research some aspects regarding establishing  
Fig. 2. The Official residence for the Commander of the Karafuto-Guards (1908)
“permanent building” styles in southern Sakhalin in the future. In particular, he had to research and elaborate: 1) an outline plan of suitable building styles; 2) heating methods for barracks and offices; 3) winter lighting methods; 4) methods of supplying water; 5) variety, price and availability of wooden building materials; and 6) appropriate wooden building materials and methods of supplying them.16
Alhough his reports based on this research have been lost, it is clear that the results of his research were reflected in the buildings he constructed in Sakhalin. The construction of temporary barracks under his command between 1905 and 1906 provides an example. These were built not in the Russian log cabin style but according to standard design specifications of the Imperial Army of Japan.17
Numerous clapboard buildings with decorative wooden pillars, beams and other ornamental features were built as administrative buildings in those days. 
Fig. 3. The Official Residence of the Governor General of the Karafuto-Cho (a. 1908)

That architectural style is called “stick style.” The Karafuto-Cho building and headquarters of the Karafuto Guards are notable examples. Such stick style buildings were surely connected with architect Tamura for he was the only architect, as we have seen, who was concerned with all these buildings as chief designer. We suppose that Yasushi Tamura might have thought that the stick style was a new architectural style suitable for southern Sakhalin. Actually, the stick style buildings give an impression of simplicity and elegance and serve as symbols of a newly developed Sakhalin.
When looking at as many photo collections from those days as possible, it is evident that quite a large number of stick style buildings were built all over southern Sakhalin throughout the Japanese colonial period. It is clear that this style, promoted by Yasushi Tamura, was the most popular architectural style during the period. Assumably, the reason the stick-style was promoted was that it was a simple and economical way to symbolize the authority of the Japanese government, as well as the ceaseless development of southern Sakhalin.
Tamura’s main works in southern Sakhalin are the buildings cited below18 :
1) The Headquarters of the Karafuto Guards:
This was a two-story stick style building with a central tower. According to contract agreements kept by the contractor Ito-Gumi, it was completed on November 30, 1907, and cost 30,214 yen. The contractor was Kametaro Ito. Later, it was used as the Karafuto Court House from about 1912 and was extant until the 1940s.
2) The Official Residence for the Commander of the Karafuto Guards (Fig.2):
This was a two-story building with plastered walls and two asymmetric pediments, the first floor of this building was brick structure but the second floor was timber structure. According to the contract agreements kept by Ito-Gumi, it was completed on October 31, 1908, at a cost of 43,451 yen. The contractor was Kametaro Ito. Later, the building was used as the Karafuto-Cho Museum until 1935. After 1935, it was used as an office for the Toyohara Military Police. This building still exists surrounded by apartment houses in Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk and is used by the Legal Affairs Bureau of the Russian Army. This is one of the most important buildings in southern Sakhalin because it is the only one existing from the Meiji Era.
3) The Eiju Byoin [an army hospital established at a permanent military facility]:
This was a one-story building and was probably a brick structure, judging from an old picture taken around the time of the completion date. According to the Ito-Gumi’s contract agreements, it was finished on October 31, 1908 and cost 122,474 yen, the highest cost for any of Tamura’s buildings as far as we know. This is probably due to medical equipment or annex buildings (official residences for medical staff and others). The contractor was Kametaro Ito.
4) The Meteorological Observatory of the Karafuto Guards at Korsakov (Fig. 4):
Fig. 4.The Meteorological Observatory of the Karafuto Guards (1907)
This was a one-story stick style building. According to Karafuto Nichinichi Shimbun, February 27, 1931, it was completed on December 26, 1907, and cost 6,200 yen. The Karafuto-Cho inherited the weather station from the Karafuto Guards. The contractor was probably Kametaro Ito, because the contractor Ito-Gumi has kept an old picture taken at the completion date. This building had become a partly three-story and reinforced concrete building after four periods of additional construction in 1921, 1922, 1926 and 1930. It was standing at least until the 1940s.
5) The Karafuto-Cho Office Building (Fig. 5):
Fig. 5. The Karafuto-Cho Office Building (a. 1908)
This was a two-story stick style building. It was probably built by August 1908, because the Karafuto-Cho had moved to Toyohara on August 23, 1908. It was built according to an H-shaped plan and had a steep hipped roof with half-round dormer windows. The Karafuto-Cho building was rebuilt and extended almost every year, and was used until the 1940s. A new building was constructed in 1945 and the old one was probably destroyed at that time. The new building will be considered later.
It is noteworthy that this building had its north entrance as the main one even though its south entrance faced one of the largest street in Toyohara, “Jinja Dori” (Kommunisticheskii Prospect today). The reason for this was that the Headquarters of the Karafuto Guards was located north of the Karafuto-Cho. This shows that the Karafuto-Cho attached the highest importance to its relationship with the Karafuto Guards because the Guards obviously had gained ascendancy over the Karafuto-Cho. Moreover, apparently “Jinja Dori” was not the main street in those days. In the early colonial period, Toyohara’s main street was the “Maoka Dori” (Sakhalinskii Prospect today) facing the Karafuto Guards Headquarters. This is an interesting example of how building directions can indicate a city’s power structure.
6) The Official Residence of the Governor General of the Karafuto-Cho (Fig. 3):
This was a two-story stick style building. This building, as we noted at the beginning of this section, resembled the Official Residence for the Commander of the Karafuto Guards. (Compare Figures 2 and 3.) In particular, the two asymmetric pediments and the window placement on the facade were almost the same. It is obvious that Yasushi Tamura and the two construction sections under his supervision used common drawings and specifications for these buildings. In any case, Yasushi Tamura was undoubtedly the most important architect working for these construction sections.
Since there is a beautiful avenue of white birches at the site of this residence, it was beloved by the people of Toyohara and was called “Shirakaba Goten” [The House of the White Birches]. It was surely existent until the end of World War II but has not survived to this day.
7) The Toyohara County Courthouse (Fig. 6):
Fig. 6. The Toyohara Country Courthouse (a. 1908)
This was a one-story stick style building which had a remarkable curved roof. It was located west of the Karafuto-Cho and probably was completed by 1908, for the Toyohara County Courthouse began to function on August 23, 1908 simultaneously with the Karafuto-Cho. Probably it was contracted by Kametaro Ito or his subcontractor Yoneshichi Endo since the Ito-Gumi took a photo at the completion date. It was confirmed that this building was existing until the 1940s by a photo in Karafuto yoran [The Official Manual of Karafuto] published in 1943.
8) The Toyohara Post Office (Fig. 7):
Fig. 7. The Toyohara Post Office (1908)
This was a two-story stick style building. Probably it was contracted by Kametaro Ito or his subcontractor Yoneshichi Endo because Ito-Gumi took a photo at the completion date with the comment “Meiji 41.11-gatsu” [November, 1908]. It was located on the corner of “Odori” and “Jinja Dori” and was one of Toyohara’s symbols. In 1921, however, it burned down and a new office was built on the same site in 1931.
To sum up the major characteristics of these buildings, all buildings except for the Meteorological Observatory were built at Toyohara between 1907 and 1909, and most of them were stick style buildings except for the Commander’s Residence and the Eiju-Byoin. Furthermore, all buildings were contracted by Kametaro Ito and his subcontractor Yoneshichi Endo. Many similarities these buildings had are explained by the fact that they were designed by the same architect and constructed by the same contractor, with few exceptions.
After finishing plans for these buildings, Tamura was transferred to Tokyo on June 30, 1908, and was assigned to the Temporary Army Building Headquarters to build the Headquarters of the Palace Guard Division.19 This building was completed in 1912, and is still standing and designated an important cultural property. It is now serving as the Crafts Gallery of the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. The renovation report published in 1978 stated that the designer of the building was assumably the army architect Yasushi Tamura.
In 1920, Tamura retired from the army and began to strike out for opening his own architectural office at Shibuya, Tokyo, where he died in 1942. His work as a civilian architect is unknown, but it is clear that he took an important part in the prewar Architectural Institute of Japan.20
Though Tamura was one of the important architects in modern Japan, his achievements have been neglected. To remedy this situation, however, we will have to look more carefully at his career after his retirement from the army.

2-3. The Relocation of the Capital at Toyohara
On January 31, 1906, as a result of a conference of executive officers of both the Karafuto Guards and the Civil Administration, two very important decisions were made: the relocation of the capital from Korsakov to New Vladimirovka and railway construction between Korsakov and Vladimirovka.21
Much prior to this decision Vladimirovka became seen both as a central militarily strategic point and a suitable area for development in southern Sakhalin. In his Sakhalin Island Chekhov remarked that this village (Vladimirovka) had value as same as all villages in northern Sakhalin. However, Vladimirovka was still undeveloped at the beginning of the Japanese colonial period. Japanese officers at that time noted that Vladimirovka’s situation would improve markedly with the construction of a railway line to Korsakov.
In the spring of 1906, the development of New Vladimirovka was started at a point “1000 meters south of the northernmost point of Old Vladimirovka Village.”22 The military base of the Karafuto Guards was located at the site of “the Russian Hospital under construction.” New Vladimirovka city was divided in an orderly way by cutting the east and west sides into 13 equal sections and the north and south sides into 14. Features of the city are listed below: 1) One land lot was 60 square ken (about 108 meters). This 60 square ken land lot was the standard unit of a modern Japanese city. For example, the foreign concession in Yokohama and Sapporo also conformed to the same scale; 2) Each land lot was separated by an 8 ken (about 14.4 meters) north-south alley way, and both sides were cut into 20 equal sections again. As a result, one land lot contained 40 “house lots”; 3) The main street width was 15 ken (about 27 meters). The east-west main street next to which the Karafuto Guards Headquarters was located was called “Maoka-Dori.” The north-south main street which was called “Odori” contained a large number of stores and functioned as the business center; 4) The ordinary street width was 10 ken (about 18 meters).
These standards were based on the “Regulations for Apportioning Farm Land,” which was introduced to Sakhalin by Takajiro Minami,23 an associate professor at Sapporo Agricultural College (Hokkaido University today). He came to Sakhalin as a specially appointed staff member of the Civil Administration to establish an agricultural system on Sakhalin. In Hokkaido, those regulations had been introduced from the United States by Shosuke Sato, a professor of Sapporo Agricultural College, beginning in the late 1880s. Most of the agricultural land in Hokkaido was divided into 300 square ken (about 2400 meter) units.24 Because Sakhalin’s executive staff gave high priority to agricultural policies, they decided to follow the example probed in Hokkaido; the agricultural land in southern Sakhalin was divided in the same manner. By looking at a map of Sakhalin today, we can find vestiges of Japanese farm land borders. The urban construction standards of New Vladimirovka were included in the comprehensive agricultural policy planning.
On December 1, 1906, a light railway between Korsakov and New Vladimirovka was opened and the construction of the new government area was started. The main buildings referred to in the preceding section were built during this period. In addition to them, many official residences and barracks were planned to be built there. On August 23, 1908, New Vladimirovka was renamed Toyohara, to which the Karafuto-Cho was removed. It was decided that August 23 would be observed as a holiday in southern Sakhalin, designated the Shisei-Kinenbi [City’s Day]. The contemporaries thought that the future of the new capital Toyohara was promising. However, since 1910, the Karafuto Guards’ numbers were reduced gradually and all of its troops had been removed by the end of 1913. As it turned out, Toyohara was declining at least temporarily and its population was decreasing. However, immediately after a large pulp plant built by Oji, a top paper mill, was constructed near the empty Karafuto Guards military complex, Toyohara became prosperous again.25 Thereafter Toyohara grew steadily. Around 1942, Toyohara had a population of 37,160 people with 7,237 households.26
Toyohara was a typical Japanese city with 60 square ken lots and, as was the case with other towns built in the Japanese colonial period, followed the aforementioned “Regulations for Apportioning Farm Land” as in Hokkaido.

2-4. Architect Kozo Yukawa and His Work
On November 30, 1908, Kozo Yukawa (Fig. 8)27 came to Sakhalin as the successor to Yasushi Tamura. From that time, he was an architect for the Karafuto-Cho until November, 1911. Unlike Tamura, Kozo Yukawa had no academic qualifications and was a self-made engineer. However, his previous career as a simple draftsman did not lessen the significance of his achievements; before Sakhalin he had participated in the construction of numerous significant Japanese buildings in the Meiji Era and he had assisted four of the foremost architects of his time.
Fig. 8. Kozo Yukawa (1853-1915)
The following is a description of Yukawa’s career based on the Shoden. On March 1, 1853, he was born in Azabu, Edo (the present Tokyo). The Shoden mentions that his family lived in a kind of run-down neighborhood “Riketsu” [the den of a raccoon dog] and that he was a person without any education.
In 1873, according to the Shoden, he entered the Doboku-Ryo [the construction section of the Finance Ministry]. Probably he was hired as a temporary employee because the “Shokuinroku” [the Directory of Government Officials in Japan] of 1873 did not list his name. His name is first listed in the “Shokuinroku” of 1876 as “9 to gite ho” [9th grade practical engineer], when he worked under the direction of Alfred Chastel de Boinville (1849-?), one of the famous “oyatoi”28 architects in those days. Probably Yukawa learned architecture from Boinville, whom he served as a draftsman. According to the Shoden, Yukawa was connected with three of Boinville’s works: “Shihei Ryo” [Bureau of Engraving and Printing] built on December 24, 1876; “Tora-no-mon Kogaku-ryo Daigakko” [the Engineering College at Tora-no-mon] built on June 20, 1877; and “Kuichigai-mon mae no Ekkensho” [the Imperial Chamber Hall at Akasaka in front of the Kuichigai Gate] (unfinished construction). These structures were representative of early Meiji Era buildings but they were destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923.29
After Boinville’s departure from Japan, Yukawa served under Josiah Conder (1852-1910), who was one of the most important architects in modern Japan. He was a professor of architecture at Tokyo Imperial University and designed over 100 buildings in Japan in his lifetime.
Thus, Kozo Yukawa was already a very experienced engineer when he came to the Karafuto-Cho in November, 1908.30 However, since the Japanese construction industry had already become somewhat education-obsessed, it was a very rare case that engineers without formal education, like Yukawa, could be nominated to chief architect for one construction section.31 Therefore, his preferment indicated how excellent he was recognized.
However, the administrative building construction at Toyohara, as we have noted, was almost finished by 1908. For that reason, Yukawa’s career in Sakhalin consisted of only two buildings at Toyohara. One was the “Karafuto Jinja” [Shinto Shrine in Karafuto] (Fig. 9) built on August 23, 1944, and another was a distillery at Toyohara (Fig. 10) built in 1944.
The contemporaries looked to the “Karafuto Jinja” as a new symbol of colonized Sakhalin. Karafuto Nichinichi Shimbun [Karafuto Daily News] made detailed reports on construction progress up to the completion date. According to Kita Nihon Shimbun [Northern Japan Newspaper], of August 23, 1911, although the construction section of the Karafuto-Cho had completed to design this shrine by about the summer of 1942, the design was suddenly changed to another design by a famous architect Chuta Ito (1867-1954), following appeals from the Tokyo Branch Office of the Karafuto-Cho. Chuta Ito was an authority on traditional Japanese buildings in those days and almost all shrines in Japanese colonies had been designed by him. On that account, he also might have wanted to design the “Karafuto Jinja” and to become the designer of all Japanese colonial shrines, or the Karafuto-Cho might have hoped to have a design by a prestigious architect.
Although the “Karafuto Jinja” was designed by Chuta Ito, his design was no more than a schematic drawing on a scale of one to two hundred. Hence, an engineer, Hikojiro Yoshikawa, had to make a business trip to Tokyo to confirm the details of the design.32
Based on evidence from pictures taken in those days, the “Karafuto Jinja” was a typical small-schale shrine, i.e. “3 ken sha” [shrines whose facades consist of 4 columns, creating 3 sections between the columns]. Even so, colonists in southern Sakhalin until the end of World War II were attached to this building. Though this shrine was supposed to be rebuilt in the 1940s, we do not have exact information about the new shrine.

Fig. 9. The Karafuto-Jinja (1911)

Thus, the construction of the first “Karafuto Jinja” was practically taken over by the architect Yukawa; he had been promoted to chief architect for the “Karafuto Jinja” construction according to Karafuto Nichinichi shimbun of May 23, 1910. Other engineers were Hikojiro Yoshikawa, Soichiro Soda and Sosuke Sato. It was widely accepted that the contractor for this project should be a representative professional in this field in southern Sakhalin, so Yoneshichi Endo was selected. That is to say, he had already become the most prestigious contractor in Sakhalin as a result of his experiences as Kametaro’s subcontractor.
The distillery at Toyohara was a factory making charcoal from wood, terebic oil and ethyl acetates by the hydrolysis of wood in a vacuum. The Karafuto-Cho considered how to utilize forest resources in Sakhalin effectively and came to the conclusion that dry distillation was the most promising industry. According to Karafuto Nichinichi shimbun of July 22, 1910, the Karafuto-Cho dicided that the building site would be located on the banks of the Kiyokawa River, which flowed through the northern suburbs of Toyohara. At the end of September, the design stage was almost finished and construction began. However, the schematic plan was made by a German company named “Maier,” which was the producer of distillation equipment and machinery.33 The reason for this was that the designer of the distillery required expertise in order to install the factory equipment safely. Obviously, Yukawa and his construction section were involved in making a detailed design and construction documents.

Fig. 10. The Distillery of Toyohara (1911)
The contractors for the distillery project were Yoneshichi Endo and the major domestic construction company, Okura-Gumi, which had contracted with the “Maier” company. In particular, Okura-Gumi contracted to transport and install the distillation equipment and to build a distillation room using fire resistant bricks.34 Yoneshichi Endo had contracted for the other work, the so-called “zatsu koji” [miscellaneous work]. Soon after beginning operation, the distillery was sold to Okura-Gumi, and was operative until about 1920.35 The ruined building was standing until the 1940s.
In 1911, the main buildings for the Karafuto-Cho were all constructed by the time of the completion of the distillery project. The construction section of the Karafuto-Cho was abolished for budget cut on November, 1910 and the construction staff were shifted to the civil engineering section.36 Furthermore, Kozo Yukawa was given a leave of absence from work in November, 1911 but it was a de facto dismissal. After resigning from the Karafuto-Cho, Yukawa was given the Imperial Award Bonus again because of his achievements in the “Karafuto Jinja” construction project.
Yukawa died on June 23, 1915. Journal of Architecture and Building Science published in July, 1915, paid tribute to his memory using his picture at the beginning of the journal. This was the aforementioned Shoden.
Though Yukawa has so far been relatively unknown, it is of great importance to recognize engineers like him. Undoubtedly, there are other numerous “anonymous engineers” making many contributions to modern Japanese architectural development.

2-5. Other Engineers
First, three government engineers working for the Karafuto Guards between 1905 and 1908 deserve mentioning: Kazusuke Kumai, Motojiro Shimizu and Tsunesuke Suzuki. Kumai and Shimizu had belonged to the Seventh Division of the Army at Asahikawa. Most likely they participated in the construction of barracks and offices at Asahikawa from 1898 and were dispatched to Sakhalin because of their experience at Asahikawa. Tsunesuke Suzuki graduated from the “Tokyo Kote Gakko” [the Tokyo Technical School] in 1904.
On the other hand, the information on engineers working for the Civil Administration comes from Membership List of the Architectural Institute of Japan and Journal of Architecture and Building Science from 1905 to 1912. Tsutomu Hashimoto, Husajiro Iwata, Kyotaro Iwamoto, Masamichi Igarashi and Yoshijiro Hasegawa were five engineers who collaborated with the Civil Administration.
Tsutomu Hashimoto was the architect Tamura’s junior colleague and worked on a short-term contract with the Civil Administration. As soon as he graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1906, he supposedly came to Sakhalin but returned to Tokyo as early as the beginning of 1907. In all probability he hardly ever worked on construction projects on Sakhalin. Husajiro Iwata sent an article on Russian log cabins in southern Sakhalin titled “Nanbu Karafuto shoken” to Journal of Architecture and Building Science of January, 1906. His report contains valuable information about the earliest days of Toyohara.
The information upon the Karafuto-Cho stuff engineers can be procured from the aforementioned “Shokuinroku,Journal of Architecture and Building Science and Karafuto Nichinichi Shimbun from 1907 to 1912. We can identify seven engineers from the Karafuto-Cho: Kenjiro Igawa, Suezo Iwaki, Soichiro Soda, Toichiro Ohara, Sosuke Sato, Hikojiro Yoshikawa and Yoshizo (or Ryozo?) Sasaki. According to “Shokuinroku,” all of them except Hikojiro Yoshikawa had resigned by 1911, and Yoshikawa remained only two years more. The reason for this was that the Karafuto-Cho had increased construction staff temporarily due to the 40th imperial proclamation issued in 1907, which permitted to increase the staff by fifty-six in the area of construction (buildings, civil engineering and railroads) until March 31, 1909.

2-6. Contractors in Southern Sakhalin
To overcome the underdevelopment of Sakhalin at the beginning of the Japanese colonial period, a huge amount of public investment was made by the government. This, in turn, induced quite a few young contractors to immigrate to Sakhalin to benefit from the construction boom.
In a book titled Karafuto kigyoka no shishin [Guidelines for Business Entrepreneurs on Sakhalin] biographies of 64 successful contractors were outlined, 31 of them stayed in Sakhalin from 1905 to 1908, the first three years of the colonial period, and 57 of them were in their twenties or thirties when they came to Sakhalin. Some of them could gain financial and social success in southern Sakhalin. Among them, the contractor Yoneshichi Endo (1875-1934) is the most notable example.

2-7. Contractor Yoneshichi Endo
Yoneshichi Endo (Fig. 11)37 was one of the most prominent self-made men of Sakhalin in the Japanese colonial period. He created a kind of local financial grouping through profits from his construction business and attained a number of public appointments. People even phrased “Karafuto for Endo, and Endo for Karafuto.”38 Before coming to Sakhalin, however, he had been a typical subcontractor for Kametaro Ito.

Fig. 11. Yoneshichi Endo (1875-1935)
Yoneshichi Endo was born in Urahama Village of Niigata Prefecture on March 5, 1875. The Endo family’s profession had been that of building contractor for generations. Young Yoneshichi was apprenticed to a “kodakumi” [carpenter]. He distinguished himself immediately and began to supervise building construction at Shibata in Niigata Prefecture. Later he moved to Abashiri in Hokkaido, where Yoneshichi gained experience as a contractor with his relative Kumakichi Endo’s support. For example, he worked on constructing buildings for the “tondenhei” [military colonists] at Tokoro in January, 1897.
Subsequently, he aided in the construction of temporary barracks for the newly established Seventh Division of the Army at Asahikawa in 1898. During this period, his ability was noticed by one of the foremost contractors, Kametaro Ito, who would become Endo’s lifelong collaborator. After finishing this construction, Yoneshichi Endo moved to Sakhalin in August, 1905.
In those days, Kametaro Ito, as we have noted, had contracted for most of the construction commissioned by the Karafuto Guards and the Karafuto-Cho. Because of his success in Asahikawa, the opinion of the Karafuto-Guards was that Kametaro Ito was the most reliable contractor in Sakhalin. (The Karafuto Guards was one subdivision of the Seventh Division at Asahikawa.) Apparently, Yoneshichi Endo subcontracted a significant part of these government construction projects in Toyohara. This is confirmed by almost all the biografies of Endo. Another reason is that Endo had actually become a leading contractor in southern Sakhalin with Kametaro’s support. Remarkably, Endo stated that he had a commendatory letter written by Kametaro Ito and had received an unconditional loan of up to 10,000 yen.
After the first construction period at Toyohara was finished, none of Ito’s project on Sakhalin could be confirmed. On the other hand, Endo was still in Sakhalin and expanded his business. In addition, he always served the public interest and became the most prominent name in various economic schemes in southern Sakhalin. Let us list several of his public employments: Representative of the Toyohara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Toyohara fire chief, President of the Karafuto Electric Power Corporation, and President of the Karafuto Steamboat Corporation, et al.
Kametaro Ito continued to support Endo by dispatching appropriate subcontractors and staff throughout the Japanese colonial period.39
In his later years, Yoneshichi Endo was badly stricken with gout and left all public duties. When he died in 1935, a town funeral was held at Toyohara and, later, his statute was erected.40 However, after World War II, the Soviet regime in Sakhalin immediately repressed the Endo financial grouping because it was seen to be antagonistic to communism. The achievements of Yoneshichi Endo in southern Sakhalin were almost forgotten.
To sum up, Yoneshichi Endo played an indispensable role in the development of southern Sakhalin, but his achievements passed into oblivion.

2-8. Other Contractors
We have already presented papers examining 64 contractors in southern Sakhalin during the Japanese colonial period, who can be categorized into three types: side contractors employed by the richer capitalists (e.g., Shuji Ohashi, Tokizo Sasaki and Saburo Iida), subsistence subcontractors without enough working capital (this category contains too many to enumerate), and domestic contractors under the patronage of major paper mill companies (e.g., Hideyoshi Fujii and Hikotaro Watanabe).
In the first category, Shuji Ohashi was the general executive for the largest wood mill in Sakhalin, for a timber merchant business and for a well-known confectioner named “Hogetsudo.” Contracts for major construction projects could be given to famous contractors, such as Shuji Ohashi and Yoneshichi Endo because of the significant sum of guarantee money which contractors had to pay to employers before beginning construction. This was not affordable for smaller contractors. In the case of the Karafuto Guards, the amount of this guarantee money was set at 12 percent of the contract payment amount.41 Hikojiro Watanabe, a representative of the third category, contracted for projects with the Fuji Seishi Corporation at Shizuoka and Hokkaido.