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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Before long wagons became fewer and were superseded by automatic three-wheeled cars and automobiles, but horses were still used by farmers picking up septic tanks they had requested, wood and fuel transport, and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

1945(昭和20)年7月の建物疎開から立ち直った中瀬の内海橋通りです。建物疎開は、空襲による焼失から重要施設を守るため、防火帯を作る目的で行った住宅などの強制解体のこと。石巻市では中瀬と中町、本町などで実施されました。
 写真左から、千葉三商店、横田煙草(たばこ)釣具店、山西商会で、電柱の脇から北端の秋葉神社への坂道が続いています。その先にも店があり(うち1軒は川崎時計店か)、東内海橋の先には湊の家が1軒見えます。千葉三商店の真新しいガラス戸が、直近の再建であったことを物語ります。
 右にあるのは岡田劇場の映画看板(内容不明)。戦後、建物疎開から再建した岡田劇場は、正面が歌舞伎座風の造りから平屋に変わり、49(昭和24)年に映画常設館となりました。空前の大ヒットとなった「ゴジラ」の上映は54(昭和29)年です。
 中瀬通りを荷馬車が湊方向に通過中。積み荷ははっきりしませんが、たんすか長持ちに見える家具類を荷台いっぱいに積んでいるので、引越し荷物でしょうか。傷を付けないようにゴザとムシロで囲っています。馬車の車体は木製で小さい前輪、大きい後輪と荷台からなり、前輪は小回りが利く回転構造でした。
 やがて荷馬車は、オート三輪車や自動車に取って代わられて少なくなりますが、農家に依頼した便槽のくみ取り、木材や薪炭、馬草の運搬、馬は山林での木出しのソリ引きなどに利用されました。
 59(昭和34)年の商工地図の中にも穀町には、荷馬車を製作する製車店や馬具店がありました。荷馬車の欠点は馬の生理現象で、歩行中でも所構わずの排せつには閉口させられたものでした。(郷土史家・辺見清二)
※米軍医が撮った1951、石巻地方<11> 四つ手網漁と定川
http://ishinomaki.kahoku.co.jp/news/2018/04/20180401t13002.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。

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