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Tokyo Vehicle Registrations: 1935

Mike Cash

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Last night I was rummaging through Tokyo Metro Police annual reports in the national archives and in the 1935 edition found this page of charts showing the 10 year trend in Tokyo vehicle registrations, which I found rather interesting.

6cb1fb53-f4b3-467f-a21b-3cb6193f9f94-jpeg.26383


I think it may be safe to say that bicycles are what killed the rickshaws.
 
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thomas

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Interesting! I tried to figure out the means of transportation listed in the chart.

人力車 (jinrikisha)
荷車 (niguruma, cart, wagons)
?? 馬車 (?? basha, horse-drawn carriages)
自転車 (jitensha, though they seemed to use a different kanji in 1935, is it 自轉車 ?)
普通自動車 (futsujidousha, "ordinary vehicles", passenger vehicles I guess?)

niguruma-jpg.26385


Nowadays, it's rare to see niguruma in daily life (I have encountered them a couple of times around Akihabara, usually to haul huge piles of cardboard), but they are still very much alive in traffic signs:

niguruma-sign-jpg.26386






 

Mike Cash

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Just think about the huge change in daily lifestyle represented by those graphs. In the short span of just 10 years Tokyo lost about 3/4 of its rickshaws, about half of its baggage handcarts, and 3/4 of its horse or ox drawn vehicles.... while the number of bicycles doubled. There was a revolutionary shift happening in the way goods and people moved about. Stuff like this is why I've always been most interested in this period of Japanese history. (I've never really been interested in anything that happened before the Meiji period. I couldn't care less about samurai and castles).

Meanwhile, cars increased mildly and then stayed static for years.

I was looking at some other statistics recently and was amazed to learn that in just the time I've been in Japan the number of personal passenger cars has slightly more than doubled. No wonder it always feels like the roads are crowded.
 

thomas

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Stuff like this is why I've always been most interested in this period of Japanese history. (I've never really been interested in anything that happened before the Meiji period. I couldn't care less about samurai and castles).
Personally, I'm very much into pre-Meiji history, in particular the Sengoku era and the bakumatsu period which both brought about significant social and political change. The samurai and castles are part of the puzzle that makes up modern Japan.

Meanwhile, cars increased mildly and then stayed static for years. I was looking at some other statistics recently and was amazed to learn that in just the time I've been in Japan the number of personal passenger cars has slightly more than doubled. No wonder it always feels like the roads are crowded.
I have no numbers, but I guess that bicycles too have increased in recent years, in particular since 2011, when many started to commute to work. Commuting in and around Tokyo nowadays has become much more challenging than it was just ten years ago.
 

joadbres

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Trends are always cyclical. I'm sure the rickshaw will be coming back. Especially after the impact of the Trump administration has been fully felt.

@thomas :
轉 is the 旧字体 of 転.
 

Mike Cash

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Is there no corner of the internet left that people can’t resist smearing with the stench of American politics? Do you have to drag Trump into the thread?
 
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