One effective way to reach an understanding of the experiences of a given foreign community or colonial (or semi-colonial) situation in a given city is to compare it with another foreign community or colonial situation in the same city. This chapter examines the experiences of the Jewish and the Japanese communities of Harbin in the three decades before the Manchurian Incident. By the 1910s, both the Japanese and the Jewish communities of Harbin had produced a wide array of local institutions supporting their respective constituencies. These institutions were, of course, by no means unique to Harbin; wherever either group settled away from home, they created comparable communal services. Unlike the Japanese community of Shanghai, which lived much like other foreign ethnic enclaves within its own small universe, in its early years Harbin remained under Russian control.