Before the Meiji era, Japanese used sedan chairs (palanquins) or ox carts to transport people and things. In 1869, however, the jinrikisha was invented in Japan. A two wheeled cab pulled by 1 or 2 men, which could be used for even long distances, it is still used today in many developing countries. In 1872, the first railway between Tokyo and Yokohama was completed, travelling a distance of 29 km in 53 minutes - much faster than horseback! As in North America, automobiles became available at the turn of the century, and, similarly, were only for the extremely wealthy.

Communication also underwent dramatic changes. The first telegraph line between Tokyo and Yokohama became operational in 1869, allowing officials to monitor territories some distance from the capital, and when telephones were introduced in 1877, a revolution in communication was underway. By 1906 when the first undersea cable was laid between Japan and USA, instantaneous international communication had begun.

Before the Meiji era, Japanese used sedan chairs (palanquins) or ox carts to transport people and things. In 1869, however, the jinrikisha was invented in Japan. A two wheeled cab pulled by 1 or 2 men, which could be used for even long distances, it is still used today in many developing countries. In 1872, the first railway between Tokyo and Yokohama was completed, travelling a distance of 29 km in 53 minutes - much faster than horseback! As in North America, automobiles became available at the turn of the century, and, similarly, were only for the extremely wealthy.

Communication also underwent dramatic changes. The first telegraph line between Tokyo and Yokohama became operational in 1869, allowing officials to monitor territories some distance from the capital, and when telephones were introduced in 1877, a revolution in communication was underway. By 1906 when the first undersea cable was laid between Japan and USA, instantaneous international communication had begun.

© 2006, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.

Scene with new methods of transportation: a rickshaw and a steam train.  Also note the new style of dress.

Scene with new methods of transportation: a rickshaw (replacing the palanquin), and a steam train. Also note the new style of dress.

Ando Hiroshige III
Gift of Ralph & Jeanne Greenhill
19th Century
JAPAN
AGGV 1996.041.011
© 2006, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


Note steamboat passing under bridge.

Note steamboat passing under bridge.

Mosai
Asian Art Purchase Fund
19th Century
JAPAN
AGGV 2002.011.003 a-c
© 2006, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


Two horse drawn streetcars on tracks in the centre of a street with rickshaws and figures holding umbrellas.

Two horse drawn streetcars on tracks in the centre of a street with rickshaws and figures holding umbrellas.

Inoue Yasuji
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Hepler
19th Century
JAPAN
AGGV 2004.018.001
© 2006, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


Ginza is a popular district of Tokyo that often experiences traffic congestion.

Ginza is a popular district of Tokyo with many department stores, boutiques, and restaurants. Because its streets can get quite busy and are often congested with cars, buses etc., one of its main routes (the north-south artery) is now closed to traffic on weekends.

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
c. 1997
Tokyo, JAPAN
© 2006, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The following learning objectives have been created with considerable and specific reference to the Prescribed Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for various grades and subjects as outlined by the Ministry of Education for the province of British Columbia. The portions that directly reflect curricula language have been italicized. All applicable texts, websites, and other learning resources are listed in the bibliography under References.

• Students will identify major changes to modes of transportation which will enhance their comprehension of how technology affects any society.
• Students will consider Japanese culture before and after these changes took place and assess the effects of urbanization and technology on lifestyles and environments.
• Students will appreciate that technological advances allowed the world to come and explore Japan and Japan to go out and explore the world, which would eventually lead to Canada’s evolving economic relationship with Japan and other Pacific Rim countries.


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