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1930s
How Radio Gymnastics Conquered Japan

Female students doing calisthenics in 1936 (Showa 11). Calisthenics became astonishingly popular in Japan after the radio program Rajio Taisō (ラジオ体操, Radio Gymnastics) was started in 1928 (Showa 3).

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Tokyo 1925
The Birth of Radio

This unassuming building at Tokyo’s Atagoyama is considered the birthplace of Japanese broadcasting, as well as Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK. Regular radio broadcasts started here on July 12, 1925 (Taisho 14).

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Kobe 1871
Motomachi 3-Chōme

If you have been to Kobe, you have almost certainly walked down the long covered shopping arcade of Motomachi, Kobe’s most popular shopping street. This is what that street looked like in 1871 (Meiji 4).

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Yokohama 1860s
The Fruits of Fire

On November 26, 1866, a horrifying fire devastated the young settlement of Yokohama. The fire has been largely forgotten, but it gave birth to the urban plan that still defines downtown Yokohama today.

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1907
"The Rice in Japan"

Laborers are loading bales of rice onto river barges. Photographer Teijiro Takagi published this scene in 1907 (Meiji 40) in a photo book about rice cultivation, The Rice in Japan. This article reproduces his book.

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1890s
The Secret Powers of the Japanese Doll

A five-tiered doll display for hinamatsuri, the doll festival. In this photo from the 1890s the display already looks very similar to the ones that we are familiar with today.