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Hi Kjeld-
I came back to this article to tell you I saw a senninbari here in LA at the Japanese American National Museum this past weekend! And thanks to you, I knew what it was! It’s an interesting one that was made in the Japanese concentration camps here for men being sent off to war to fight for the US in WW2. It has a lovely sumie painting depicting a tiger on it as well. Photos will be posted on my blog today. It was really great to see one in person. Hope all is well with you!

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Tokyo Station

(Author)

@Matthew Hall: Thank you, Matthew. I seem to recall I have seen elevation drawings. Unfortunately none in my collection yet. I will keep my eyes open!

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Thank you for this historical write up and the great picture in the top! I just love this hotel and read / study whatever I can about it and its history. I would love to find some architectural drawings / elevation drawings of this beautiful building.

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Matsushima Brothels

(Author)

@Noel: Thank you for sharing. Yes, that is a great site isn’t it!

I found it very helpful for a study I wasn commissioned to do by the Netherlands Embassy in Japan last year.

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As I was looking for some information on Dotonbori I’ve stumbled across this amazing website researching Osaka’s urban history .

I hope it’ll add to your research as well :)

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Off to War

(Author)

@Tim Hornyak: Glad you liked it, Tim. Sometimes I am surprised about the images I find in my own collection! All of these work so well together to get this story across. And sometimes art tells a story better than a photograph. I especially like the ukiyoe from 1937 showing the two women doing senninbari. Purchased it specifically for this story, all the other images were already in my collection.

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(Author)

@Glennis A Dolce: Thank you so much for the kind words. NHK did a documentary on the movie. I have tried to find it on YouTube, but no luck so far…

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Excellent article with some moving photos. Keep up the good work!

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another wonderful post. the photographs… the faces. I did not know about senninbari at all but so very interesting. the videos too- i’d love to see that found film… Again- thank you!

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Headman, Hunter, Fox

(Author)

@Noel: Thank you. That is a great book. Will try to find an original copy. The salesperson mentioned in this explanation often comes up. He apparently shouted three words in a row very similar to the three characters in the game. But historians now say it is not clear if Tohachi really came from a person by that name, or whether such a person even existed.

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There is also a short description of the game in the book “We Japanese” by Frederic de Garis: Google Books

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(Author)

@Noel: That is so kind of you to say. Thank you very much. I really enjoy delving deep into the histories of the customs and traditions shown in these images.

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As always I’m in awe with the amount of research put in every article.

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(Author)

@Leyla: Oh, nice! Maybe you can eventually create your own version with new figures and gestures to make the game more applicable to their lives?

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Very interesting! This inspired me to play paper rock scissors with the school children from work! I think it will be fun to teach them.

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The "Human Horses" of the Rickshaw

(Author)

@Glennis: The connection with left side driving was a new discovery for me as well. I had never seen it mentioned in popular articles. Shows again how important it is to check scholarly and primary sources.

Did you know that the United States Postal Service used three wheeled vehicles? I came across photographs in my research. They were used in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Interesting about left side driving! I did not know that connection. The only places I’ve recently seen the jinrikisha are in Kamakura and Kyoto- of course high tourist destinations.
The three wheeled vehicles are still everywhere and and are so practical! I wish they were popular in US urban areas.

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Ruins of the American Legation

@glennis: I wonder if the silks survived the rough handling during the fire. In his first letter, Pruyn wrote that many of the items were thrown in the pond to protect them from the flames, including the books and even boxes with paper money… As the samurai were familiar with silk, I would like to think they did not throw these in the pond as well!

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a great and focused history lesson that tells us a lot about the culture of the time as well. You know I would be interested in the packing up of the silks! My next walk through the port area of Yokohama I will be reminded of this violent period in that area. Fascinating!

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