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Kobe Regatta & Athletic Club (KRAC)

The foreign settlements established by the Ansei Treaties were springboards of modernization for Japan. The Kobe Settlement developed its own unique infrastructure and economy for international exchange on multiple levels. Alexander Cameron Sim (pictured here) founded KRAC in 1870 after sending out an advertisement in the Hyogo News. The newspaper advertisement is pictured above. Sim, a Scotsman, was a pharmacist and all around athlete. He would become integral to the sports scene in Kobe for the next 30 years. Within six months of its foundation, KRAC had moved into a new gym and boathouse and hosted Kansai's first regatta on December 24th, 1870 with Mr. Sim starting the race and being the umpire. The first interport sporting event was held in 1871 between Southern Kobe and Northern Yokohama. The railway did not yet reach Kobe, so the Kobe rowing team had to take a steamer to Yokohama to race their rowing team. This event spurred the interport competition still seen today (Kobe Regatta & Athletic Club).