(From The Japan Weekly Mail, October 30, 1905)
"Partial figures are published indicating the immensity of the concourse of people who went to see the Naval Review [on Oct. 23, 1905]. Thus it is mentioned that at Shimbashi station the number of tickets sold between 4.30 p.m. on the 22nd and noon on the 23rd was 125,000.
"We can well imagine that such was the case, but without being actual eye-witnesses we could not have imagined the thoroughness of the dislocation that overtook the railway traffic.
"The Japanese have proved by their exploits in the war that they are highly endowed with organizing capacity, but most assuredly the traffic management on the State Railways has never suggested such an endowment. The Naval Review, it is true, was an altogether exceptional occasion; an occasion not occurring twice in the life-time of a generation. To take it as a normal test would be unfair.
"But the railway authorities must have known perfectly well that it would be a exceptional occasion, and they did know, for they announced beforehand that throughout the whole of the 23rd trains would be despatched from Yokohama and Tokyo respectively at intervals of 20 minutes.
"So defective, however, were the arrangements [that at] Kawasaki, for example, a densely packed crowd stood all along the platform for hour after hour vainly expecting the arrival of a train to carry them away.
"... How many hundreds of thousands viewed the spectacle from the shore, it is impossible to estimate.
"There seemed to be an immeasurable crowd. Every available space along the sea-coast was utilized for setting up platforms in the rough and ready way of Japan, and every one of these was packed with eager observers ... [T]here was not the smallest evidence of disorder. Even at the crowded railway stations and tramcars which appeared to be filled to three to four times the normal limits of their carrying capacity, good humour and mutual helpfulness were the universal rule.
"... As the Naval Authorities had predicted, the best view of the spectacle was obtainable from the vicinity of Tsurumi. At 9 p.m. nothing could exceed the brilliancy of the spectacle presented by the illuminated war-ships as the from that region."
Please support this site. Consider clicking an ad from time to time. Thank you!