Japan Electrical Exhibition, Ueno Park, Tokyo, 1918.



1910sModernizationTechnology
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Japan Electrical Exhibition, March 1918, at Ueno Park, Tokyo, held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Japan Electrical Industrial Association [日本電機工業会]. Inset photos: Chokai Komatsu (left), and Viscount Mimatsu (right).

See also:
Meiji (Tokyo) Industrial Exhibition, Ueno Park, 1907.
Peace Commemorative Exposition, Ueno Park, Tokyo, 1922.
Taisho Exhibition, Ueno Park, 1914.
Japan-British Exhibition, London, 1910.

“The Electrical Exhibition, which was held at Uyeno Park, Tokyo, between March 20 and May 20 of this year, was a unique landmark in the remarkable mechanical progress which Japan has made in recent years. Japan has been manufacturing for some years nearly all the electrical devices which the growth of her industry demands and which adds so much to comfort and luxury of modern Occidental life; but this was the first opportunity which the Japanese people have had to review the progress which has been made by their progressive manufacturers in the electrical line.

Japan Electrical Exhibition, Main gate, 1918. Special “electric days” were set aside by organizers and city authorities during which all the electric lights in Tokyo were kept burning late into the night.

“The buildings covered a ground space of 6,904 tsubo (1-tsubo is 6-square feet), upon which were erected two large buildings, the property of the Industrial Association, and several smaller ones put up by individual exhibitors. The main building covered a space of 2,200 tsubo and was divided into three halls, East, West, and North, while a separate hall with a space of 300 tsubo was erected on the southern part of the premises. Guide books were provided by the Exhibition Association so that visitors ‘could inspect the exhibits at their leisure and at their own convenience.

“As a popular show the exhibition was not a success but it will undoubtedly have a far reaching effect upon the future of Japan’s electrical industries and especially upon manufactures adapted to Japan’s foreign markets. It is well known that Japanese electrical engineers are about to start a campaign in China for the extension of trade in their products to that country’s great markets, and it is apparent that the organizers of this exhibition had the furtherance of the campaign in mind.

“… The history of applied electricity in Japan is not a long one, the first practical application being no earlier than 1886, when the Tokyo Electric Light Company inaugurated street lighting in the capital. Before that date the people regarded applied electricity as magic and were very backward in the study of the science, although some knowledge of electricity was brought to Japan nearly a century ago by the European merchants and physicians trading or residing at Nagasaki. After street lighting was installed in Tokyo the next electrical innovation was the construction of an electrical tramway in the old imperial city of Kyoto. The Japanese public has scarcely been aware of the remarkable progress made in the last two or three years so the exhibition was a sort of revelation to them.’

Applied Electricity in Japan: Exhibition at Uyeno Reveals Progress, The Far Eastern Review, July 1918

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