50th Anniversary commemorative postcard, Nankai Railway Co., Osaka, 1934.



1930sCommerceKobe-OsakaTransportation
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50th Anniversary commemorative postcard, Nankai Railway Co., Osaka, 1934.

The privately-owned and operated Nankai Electric Railway Co., Ltd. was founded on June 16, 1884 as the Osaka-Sakaikan Railway, the first railway company in Japan to be established purely by private capital. Through as series of expansions and mergers, the company was renamed Nankai (‘South Sea’) in 1897, a name derived from the company’s routes along the Nankaidō, the old feudal highway that ran south from the old capital, Kyoto, along the sea coast.

The original Osaka-Sakaikan route in 1884 was extended to Izumisano in 1897 and then onward to Wakayama in 1903.

In 1944 it was one of the companies that merged to form Kinki Nippon Railway Co., Ltd. (Kin-nichi, present Kintetsu Railway). However, Kin-nichi transferred the former Nankai Railway Company’s lines to the present Nankai Electric Railway Co., Ltd. (named Koyasan Electric Railway Co., Ltd. from March 28, 1925 until March 14, 1947) on June 1, 1947.

From 1938 to 1988, Nankai Electric Railway owned the Nankai Hawks, a team in Nippon Professional Baseball that was based in Osaka. The team was sold to Daiei after the 1988 season and moved to Fukuoka and rechristened the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks.

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