70606-0004 - Japanese Kago Bearers and Customer Taking a Break

1890s
Kago Bearers Taking a Break

Artist Unknown
Publisher Unknown
Medium Albumen Print
Period Meiji
Location Outside
Image No. 70606-0004
Purchase Digital File
Author

During a break, two kago bearers smoke kiseru pipes while their customer is being served tea by a waitress from a teahouse.

The woman’s luggage is tied to the roof of the kago. During the Edo Period, (1603-1868) only samurai were allowed to ride horses, while horse carriages were unknown. The kago therefore was Japan’s main mode of transportation until the invention of the jinrikisha (rickshaw) around 1868.

The jinrikisha quickly replaced the kago in the cities (Tokyo for example had already some 56,000 jinrikisha in 18721), but its use continued in mountainous areas where the jinrikisha was often not practical.

The kago customer would squat in a semi-recumbent posture. Japanese were used to this, accustomed as they were to sitting on the floor. But to many foreign visitors, the kago was a painful experience about which they often complained in their diaries.

See another image of a kago at 1880s • Woman in Kago.

Notes

1 March, Roger (2007). How Japan Solicited the West: The First Hundred Years of Modern Japanese Tourism. University of New South Wales, 2.

Published
Updated

Reference for Citations

Duits, Kjeld (). 1890s: Kago Bearers Taking a Break, OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN. Retrieved on January 20, 2022 (GMT) from https://www.oldphotosjapan.com/photos/283/kago-bearers-taking-a-break

I have a small favor to ask

Old Photos of Japan aims to be your personal museum for Japan's visual heritage to increase our understanding of Japanese culture and society.

Finding, acquiring, scanning, restoring, researching and conserving these vintage images, and making the imagery and research freely available online, takes serious time, money and effort.

We do this without charging for access, selling user data, or running ads.

Your support helps to make this possible, and ensures that this important visual heritage of Japan will not be lost and forgotten.

If you can, please consider supporting Old Photos of Japan with a regular amount each month. Or become a volunteer.

Thank you,
Kjeld Duits

save our heritage

Explore More

…

1904
Bamboo Basket Factory

Young girls and women at work at a bamboo basket factory.

…

Yokohama 1929
Ships in Port

Ships in the harbor of Yokohama. This photo was taken from the s.s. Malolo which visited Yokohama Harbor in October 1929 (Showa 4).

…

1890s
Broom Vendor

A street vendor carrying brooms (箒, houki) balanced on a carrying pole.

Add Comment

There are currently no comments on this article.