Nakase and a Wagon
1951 Photograph by an American Military Doctor

Apr. 8th, 2018

Translation by Stefan Ramos

This is a photo of Naikaibashidori Street in Nakase which had gotten back up on its feet after the building removals in July of 1945 (Showa 20). ‘Building removals’ refers to the obligatory demolition of residential buildings and such with the goal of creating anti-fire rings in order to protect important establishments from fires caused by air raids.

From the left we can see Chibamishoten, Yokotatabakotsuriguten Tobacco and Fishing Supply Store, and the Yamanishi Firm; beside the telephone pole is the hill road that continues on to the northern end of Akiba Shrine. There were also shops in that area (is that one house the Kawasakitokeiten Clock Shop?), and one house can be seen in the harbor in the direction of eastern Naikaibashi. The brand-new glass door on Chibamishoten indicates its recent reconstruction.

On the right is the Okuda Theatre’s film board (title unknown). The Okuda Theatre, which was rebuilt after the war, changed its front from kabuki-style seating to a one-story style, and became a movie theatre in 1949 (Showa 24). The record-breaking hit, Godzilla, was screened in 1954 (Showa 29).

A wagon on Nakasedori Street is heading towards Minato. It’s not entirely clear what the cargo is, but because lots of furniture that look like tansu or other large chests has been loaded onto the cart, maybe they’re moving? The luggage has been wrapped in woven and rush mats to prevent injury. The coach frame is made of wood, a small front wheel, large back wheels, and a luggage platform. It was a revolving framework that made use of slight rotations of the front wheel.

Before long wagons became fewer and were superseded by automatic three-wheeled cars and automobiles, but horses were still used by farmers picking up septic tanks they had requested, wood and fuel transport, and pulling sleighs for timber felled in mountain forests.

In the 1959 (Showa 34) commerce and industry map in Kokucho there were still wheelwright and harness stores that made wagons. The drawback to wagons was the physiology of the horse; their excreting regardless of location, even mid-walk, was quite annoying. (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<12> 中瀬と荷馬車

※米軍医が撮った1951、石巻地方<11> 四つ手網漁と定川
 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。