Retro Japan: Kyoto cafe that protected free speech during WWII retains cruise ship interior

The old Francois Kissashitsu cafe building that looks like a structure in a Western city is located in Kyoto’s Shimogyo Ward near the Shijo Kawaramachi intersection, which is often crowded with tourists. Shoichi Tateno (1907-1995), a then socialist and a former aspiring painter, opened the cafe in 1934 by renovating a wooden two-storied house as a place for activists to live independently and to cultivate socialism.

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