Saturday, February 07, 2015

Japan, 1950's

I recently found some really neat 35mm slides from Japan, dating from what I assume is the early to mid-1950's (they are unmarked, as is often the case). It is interesting to see the country in the immediate post-WWII period, where traditional ways were slowly being replaced by more modern life.

I wish I had more information about where these were taken; one slide (among many) was labeled "Yokohama", so it's possible that all of these are from that general area. If any of you readers out there can glean anything from these, please let me know!

I wonder if this lady worked in a place like a tea house, where customers expected traditional garb, or if this is how she dressed every day?

A brother and sister walk down a city street, perhaps on their way to school. I love the stores in the background; paper lanterns are side-by-side with neon signs. Notice the western-style mannequin.

Folks gather outside a restaurant & cabaret - signs in English might have been there for American servicemen. Look at all that firewood!

I love this fascinating look at a bustling city street! If only I knew where it was, just imagine how modern it must be today - probably with shiny glass buildings and flashing signs everywhere.

The clock in this town square tells us that it is a little past 9 o'clock; there's snow on the ground and the skies still look a bit stormy. One tall sign says "Toshiba"; I wonder if those small cars are Toyotas, Nissans, or Hondas? Or even some other brand?

This one fascinates me because Japan certainly had modern ships by this time (as was seen during the battles in the Pacific), and yet this harbor is full of old-fashioned wooden boats equipped with sails instead of engines. Presumably they were mostly used for fishing.

I hope you have enjoyed these vintage photos of Japan!


K. Martinez said...

When you mentioned American servicemen it reminded me of my dad's time in Japan when he lived there for a while in the 1950s around the time and after he was in the Korean War. He didn't talk about it much, but when he did he seemed to have a real fondness for the country. I remember after he died, I went through some black and white photos of he and his Air Force buddies in nightclubs and restaurants where there appeared to be lots of young Japanese woman around. There were also lots of photos of a young woman and her family, so it appears he was involved with someone while residing there.

What a nice photo set today. Love the harbor image. Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...

GDB goes International-! I have a friend who worked at TDL from about 1987 thru 1995. He, too, described it as a very fascinating country.

Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I have always wondered if the Japanese felt animosity toward US servicemen, but have never heard of any ill treatment. Which is surprising, considering the amount of awful propaganda on each side. There were pictures from nightclubs in this lot, but the low light meant that they were almost all very blurry. Even the photos of topless women, I am sad to say.

Nanook, I thought I would go bananas, but Herbie already did it. So I decided to go international. Japan is the Asian country I am most curious to see someday!