Asakusa’s Ryounkaku, or Tower Soaring above the Clouds, was built in November 1890. This "cloudscraper", a twelve-story octagonal red brick building, incorporated the very first elevator in Japan and captured the imagination of all of Tokyo. The second to eighth floors featured wares from all over the world for sale, art exhibitions were held on the ninth floor, and the tenth floor served as an observation tower for curious sightseers. However, only two months after the tower’s opening, the elevator, which was imported from the United States, was shut down for safety reasons.
Vancouver Museum, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts,

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