Normally, one would not associate “masonry construction” with “Japan”. Indeed, the author has frequently heard from Japanese colleagues that masonry construction does not exist in Japan. While this may be true in some aspects, what has been forgotten is the existence of a few decades , at the turn of the century, during which masonry buildings of western style have been constructed in parts of Japan suck as Kobe. Hence, and somewhat surprisingly for those not familiar with Japanese history, a small number of unreinforced masonry buildings existed in Kobe prior to the Hanshin-Awaji earthquake.