The 1951 Photographed by an American Military Doctor
Kawahiraki and Tachimachidori Street
Jan. 21st, 2018
This photo is one view of the 1951 (Showa 26) Ishinomaki Kawahiraki Festival [a festival that marks the start of boating season] which was held on July 28th and 29th (Sat.).
Having been stopped since the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 (Showa 12), the Kawahiraki Festival was revived in 1946 (Showa 21) after the Pacific War. Based on the simple Tanabata Star Festival decorations on Tachimachidori Street and the back road leading to Toriya Shrine which is in front of the stone torii gate (which was damaged by an earthquake in the sea off of the coast of the Miyagi prefecture and moved to the grounds of Toriya Shrine) we know that this was one of the Kawahiraki Festival days.
On this day the one-way Tachimachidori Street had been blocked off to cars. Without expecting streamers or kusudama (decorative paper balls used during festivals, etc.) like the ones on Omachidori Street, a tunnel made of colored paper strung from small bamboo plants was the best they could do. With the modest, small bamboo plants, it was a time when [everyone] felt the joys of festivals and peace.
Below the 200+ stone steps the road from the old Kyuoikawanaika internist to the old Kyunakajimageka surgeon is unclear, but it had already been built. The Tachimachi shops from the left are Fukuraikanshashinkan photo studio, several houses down between the reopened Taigetsushokudo restaurant and the red and white curtain of the Western building is a roof (a gateway?) to the entrance of Fukichodori Street. To the right of that is the Akitaya mansion and the large ginkgo tree in the gardens, several storehouses, and Miyoshi Shrine.
The new two story building is the prefectural Public Healthcare Center, and with the large storehouse-like roof and chimney as a landmark we understand that
to the right behind Akitaya is Shindencho’s Kinkabuto, Suzukishoyuya soy sauce shop, and Suminoe sake brewery, etc.
There are two festival performance tents standing in the remains of Akitakoen Park in front of Fukicho, and beginning in May of this year the Kigura Circus was performing. Aren’t there several people who remember the crowded circus tents on that festival day? Several years later the remains of Akitakoen Park were sold off and it changed into the Ekimae Market, but there are now few left of the generation that knows of the market.
It is thought that at the upper end [of the photograph] are Ogawa railroad crossing and the northern end of Asahimachidori Street. To the left of the Asahimachi railroad crossing can be seen the Takayashikido Road which runs along the Hebitahori trench. Before long, around 1955 (Showa 30), the adjustment of arable land behind the station was completed and the Hebitahori trench was made into a straight line near the Ishinomaki Line. In this year the North-South road of the Mizuoshi railroad crossing in front of the Niinumakanamonoya hardware store in Kokucho was put in place.
※The 1951 that an American Military Doctor Captured Ishinomaki, Naikaibashidori Shopping Street
Please let us know if you have any information>
You can browse the published photos on the photographer’s eldest son, Alan Butler’s, website “Miyagi 1951”. https://www.miyagi1951.com/
Please feel free to contribute any information regarding these photos to Mr. Henmi at 090(4317)7706.