The area between Isezakicho and Nigiwai-cho was known among foreigners as Theater Street.
Since around 1877 (Meiji 10), the street was filled with theaters, teahouses and restaurants which attracted lots of crowds and made this one of Yokohama’s most lively areas of the middle of the Meiji Period (1868-1912).
This photograph shows the area around Isami-za theater (勇座) in Matsugae-cho (松ヶ枝町, current Isezaki-cho 2-chome) as it looked sometime between 1887 (Meiji 20) and 1897 (Meiji 30). In 1899 (Meiji 32), the area burned down and all this vanished forever.
When you see all these flags advertising the theaters, productions and certain artists you understand Japan’s current love affair with neon signs. They are really electrified flags. I think that I prefer the flags, I just love how they move in the wind and the sounds they make.
They are a whole lot better for the environment, too.
For more information about Isezaki-cho and to see a photo of the same area during the 1910s, read Yokohama 1910s • Isezaki-cho 2-chome.
Reference for Citations
Duits, Kjeld (). Yokohama 1890s: Isezaki-cho 2-chome, OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN. Retrieved on January 20, 2022 (GMT) from https://www.oldphotosjapan.com/photos/252/isezakicho
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