A 97-year-old Japanese-style building in
"This place belongs to everybody, especially those who like to read," he said.
The city has built a three-story structure next to the restored building, which is a historic site, in a bid to develop the complex into a venue for people to read and participate in cultural activities.
He felt honored and thankful that
The Hiramatsu family built the Kishu An in 1917 and ran it as a restaurant along the
The complex was later turned into dormitories and abandoned after the main building and secondary building were destroyed in two separate fires in the 1990s.
Thanks to the efforts of academics and conservationists, the third building was preserved and designated a historic site in 2004. The city decided to turn the complex into what is now the
Although the city has built a new structure in the complex, it was not until last year that restoration of the third building began.
"It was a very elegant way of having fun," he said.
After people got off, they could clean or shower at the bathroom between the main and secondary building before eating or attending balls, he said.
The restaurant had about 30 people working in its kitchens, which Hiramatsu said was a challenge because they had to feed some 100 to 200 guests every night.
In addition to good food, they also provided entertainment, he said, with 15 to 20 geishas coming in every night to play the shamisen and other musical instruments.
"It was happy time," said Hiramatsu, 81. "My memory about the 12 years I spent here is long and sweet."
While the third building of the restaurant was restored and opened to the public Saturday, Wang said he hoped friends from
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