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In Front of the Senseki Line’s Ishinomaki Station

1951 Photographed by an American Military Doctor

Mar. 25th, 2018

Translated by Stefan Ramos

These are three rickshaws, used for carrying passengers, and their drivers in the plaza in front of Ishinomaki Station on the Senseki Line. We can see in the photo things like, on the right hand side, the old Shimizushokudo restaurant on the corner of the road in front of the station, towards the front what would later become Kasugachodori Road, and the three white bulbs of the suzuran streetlights that were installed by volunteers in front of the station in 1950 (Showa 25).     Seeing the unpaved plaza in front of the station is a vivid reminder of the wooden station built in the Miyagi Electric Railroad Era which began in 1928 (Showa 3). The rickshaw driver’s clothes seem to be a hat halfway between a military hat and an ordinary cap, a military jacket and pants, a towel around his neck, and a pair of split-toed work tabi.

The picture shows the poverty of postwar Japan, a time of suffering when things were in short supply. The rickshaw is a vehicle invented by a Japanese person in the early years of the Meiji period [1868-1912] and was brought in to Ishinomaki as well. Looking back, there were rickshaw and stage coaches running in between Ishinomaki and Matsushima for people who were going to the capital.

Looking at a 1927 (Showa 2) telephone book, one will see “Naikai Rickshaw”; they were used for picking up house call doctors, geishas, and masters.  This author who was born after the war has of course never ridden in one, neither has he ever seen one carrying passengers around. If anyone knows, please let us know until when rickshaws were used in Ishinomaki.

In July of this year [1951], shocking news came to Ishinomaki. Nineteen Japanese people who had not yet heard of Japan’s defeat were rescued from Anatahan Island in the Mariana archipelago and returned home. Within those nineteen people were the healthy captain of the navy-conscripted Kaihomaru no. 7, Katsusaburou Shirai, chief engineer Azuma Kumagai, and crewmember Sueji Kimura.

Because of the military clothing of the rickshaw driver this photo really feels like a scene from Ishinomaki’s forgotten postwar history. (Local Historian, Seiji Henmi)

<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.

米軍医が撮った1951、石巻地方<10> 仙石線石巻駅前

仙石線石巻駅前の広場で、客待ちをする3台の人力車と車夫です。右手が駅前通り角の元清水食堂など、正面に後の春日町通りと、1950(昭和25)年に駅前有志が設置したすずらん灯、白いボールランプ3個の街路灯が見えます。     駅前広場は未舗装で、28(昭和3)年に開業した宮城電鉄時代の木造駅舎がほうふつされます。車夫の服装は、旧陸軍の軍帽ないしは略帽、上着とズボンは軍服、首に手拭い、履物は地下足袋のように見えます。     写真は、戦後の日本の貧しさ、物資不足に苦しむ時代そのものを映し出しています。人力車は明治初年、日本人が発明した乗り物で、石巻村にも導入されました。さかのぼると、上京する人のため石巻-松島間に人力車と駅馬車が運行しています。     27(昭和2)年の電話早見表を見ると、本町に「内海人力車立場」とあり、往診のお医者さん、芸者衆や旦那さん方の送迎に利用されました。戦後生まれの筆者は乗車経験はもちろんなく、客を乗せて走る姿も見てはいません。石巻市では乗り物の人力車がいつごろまで使われたのか、ご存じの方はお知らせください。


 軍服の車夫の姿から、忘れ去られた石巻の戦後史の一コマを感じた写真です。(郷土史家・辺見清二)※米軍医が撮った1951、石巻地方<9> 町の書店http://ishinomaki.kahoku.co.jp/news/2018/03/20180318t13007.htm<情報をお寄せください> 掲載された写真は、撮影者の長男アラン・バトラー氏のウェブサイト「Miyagi 1951」で閲覧できます。https://www.miyagi1951.com/ 写真に関する情報は辺見氏 090(4317)7706 にお寄せください。