Morikawacho-Dori, Hongo, Tokio, 1909



1900sCommerceNeighborhoods (Misc)
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Morikawacho-dori, Hongo-ku, Tokyo, 1909.

Morikawacho-dori, Hongo, Tokyo, 1909.

See also:
Whole View of Tokyo Imperial University and Faraway Shinobazu Pond, Tokyo, c. 1930.

Hongo neighborhood in the Bunkyo ward of Tokyo is bounded to the east by Ueno Park and, to the south, by the Kanda Canal. Tokyo Imperial University was chartered there in 1877 on estate land appropriated from a Tokugawa era daimyo (provincial lord), Maeda.

The handwritten note from ‘Amari’ draws attention to the patrol policeman (パトロ ポリス, peturo-porisu) being ferried about by jinrikisha, and to the “salary man” (サラリーマン, sarerii-man) wearing a tweed suit and fedora at lower-left. (I had always thought the term and idea of “salary man” was a post-war invention, so was surprised to see the term in use, here, a half-century earlier. Thanks to Helen Delaney for locating that!)

Telephone poles and electrical power lines are evidence of Modernization. Without those, and other Western accoutrements, this scene could very well have been played out in the last days of the Tokugawa bakufu 40+ years earlier or the earliest years of the Restoration.

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