Katase Beach, Enoshima, 1910-1960.



1910s1960sAmusements & Recreations
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View of Enoshima from Katase, Enoshima, c. 1910. Katase Beach includes Higashihama Beach to its east and Nishihama Beach to its west, and is considered to be the oldest sea bathing beach in Japan, first recommended for western-style sea bathing medical treatment by the German doctor, Erwin von Balz, in the 1870s.

“In the summer of 1914, Father decided we should remain in Tokyo instead of going to the beach where we had gone for many years … But as the weather grew more sultry and unbearable, Father saw no good reason for our remaining in town, and he sent my second mother and us children to the beach.

“The trip was always a joyous and happy one. Katase beach was not far from Tokyo, only two hours by train. Yet it seemed to us a long journey … On the train we sat near the window so as to look out over the fields as we passed. The trees in the fields, the electric poles, and the adjoining hills seemed to run faster than the train.

“… We stayed at the same inn every year and occupied the same quarters. From our room we could see Katase River flowing into the sea. Beyond the river soft hills spread out to the horizon. When the sky was clear, snow-peaked Mount Fuji appeared beyond the sand hills. If at sunset Mount Fuji turned deep purple against the red sky, I would say to Elder Sister, ‘Tomorrow will be a nice day.’

“Before breakfast we walked on the beach, collecting shells and seaweed. We washed the seaweed, dried it, and made bookmarks of it. Often on our early morning walks the shell trumpets of fishermen signaled their homecoming from the sea. Then Nobu would say, ‘Let’s watch the fish nets come in.'”

Restless Wave: My Life in Two Worlds, by Ayako Ishigaki, 2004

“View of Enoshima”, from Katase beach, c. 1930.

‘Enoshima in autumn where waves roll in from Katase like white sheep walking.
Woman divers do not have to grope for pearls with lamplight in Enoshima’

– Akiko Yosano, Fujisawa City

Enoshima Island and Bentenbashi, c. 1950, from Katase Beach.

“Enoshima, with the glittering sea and upbeat atmosphere of Shonan, is currently popular for marine sports, such as yachting, surfing and beach volleyball. With its bathing beach and tourist spots, it attracts a great number of people from not only inside Kanagawa Prefecture, but also across the nation, every year.

“… Katase Beach in Enoshima, a sandy beach 5 km long from east to west, is referred to as the Miami Beach of the Orient where fashionable bathing suits and colorful beach parasols prevail. You can enjoy sunbathing and happy summer memories here.”

Fujisawa City web site

Katase Beach at Fujisawa, with Enoshima in the distance, c. 1960.

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