Yokohama Boomtown Image Gallery / Y0184_train_schedule
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Tetsudo dokiannai

Title: Railway Timetable
Artist: Yoshitora (fl. ca. 1850-80)
Format: Woodblock print
Medium: Ink and color on paper
Dimensions: 37 x25 cm (14 9/16 x9 13/16 in.)
Source: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Japan's first railway line, linking Yokohama and Tokyo, was opened in 1872, the year this charming scene appeared. A Japanese woman rides in a rickshaw while a train rushes past in the middle distance. Two rickshaws are parked beside the shore, awaiting passengers. The setting is the scenic harbor of Edo Bay as seen from Shinagawa, a town on the Tokaidō where teahouses and beautifully appointed inns flourished during the Edo period (1615-1868). Overhead, in the upper register, a timetable lists the hourly departures for trains going toward Yokohama at eight minutes after the hour; the lower register cites trains to Tokyo at forty-three minutes after the hour. The fares for first, second, and third class are written to the left; 56 sen, 35 sen, and 18 sen, respectively, to Yokohama, and 93 sen, 62 sen, and 31 sen, respectively, to Tokyo. Charges for freight are also provided. Train fares were relatively high compared to those for the ferry that covered the same route by water. Most passengers on the trains were Westerners with business in Yokohama. [Adapted from Ann Yonemura, Yokohama: Prints from Nineteenth-Century Japan]

Visualizing Cultures image number: Y0184

Keywords: train, ships, rickshaw, Tokaidō

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