The Fukuoka-Hibiki Shinkin Bank in Kitakyushu City has narrowly avoided demolition and will be restored by the Bank owner.

The bank was designed by Togo Murano (1891-1984), and built in 1971. Murano is widely regarded as one of Japan’s Modern Masters, having completed over 300 projects across the country. He is highly celebrated in Kitakyushu, having lived there in his teens before briefly working at the city’s steel works. The bank building is topped with two machine rooms that resemble blast furnaces.

In 2017, one of his ‘phantom factories’ was discovered in a steel mill in the Tobata district of the Yawata Steel Works. The factory has been in use since 1941. Sadly his works are gradually being demolished. Recent demolitions have included:

Repeated mergers have seen the bank outgrow its head office, requiring more floorspace. The acquisition of the adjoining city-owned Kendo sports hall will give them room to build new office space while preserving Murano’s iconic design.


2-8-1 Ogura, Yahatahigashi, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture

Source: The Nishi Nippon Shimbun, March 24, 2021.