Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Ginza, Tokyo - 1950's

Years ago (when I collected slides more seriously) I happened upon a nice bunch of color slides from Japan in the 1950's - there was no specific date on them, but I suspect that they are from around 1955, give or take a year or two. 

A couple of photos of Tokyo's "Ginza" shopping district were especially fun. These days, the Ginza looks as modern as can be, with tall glass towers, stores selling luxury items, and a dazzling array of flashing lights and video billboards, similar to Times Square. In these photos, it looks prosperous and charming. Imagine what it would have been like to go to Japan in the 1950's!

Hey, let's go to the "Alaska" store! I'll take two. You can really sense how Japan had recovered from WWII, and was on its way to having a thriving economy.

I couldn't find any modern views that I could compare to my old photos - things had changed too much in 60 years. However, Getty Images had this nice shot from around the same time as my photos.

And here's a vintage postcard!


Nanook said...


Let's go shopping-!

In that second image, there's a Cadillac - probably a 1951 model year. And the Getty image sports a 1958 Plymouth.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I love these vintage Tokyo pics! I never made it to The least not above ground, anyway. I have only switched trains underground in the Ginza subway station. I guess I have focused more on other areas of the city....especially the Tokyo Disney parks. I spy a couple electric railway cars in the middle of that first pic (and of course, in the last two pics also).

K. Martinez said...

My father lived in Tokyo for a while during the 1950's and he loved the country and people of Japan. In fact, I think he wanted to become a permanent resident of Tokyo. This was shortly after the Korean War in which my father served in. Both Tokyo and Japan is a place I always wanted to see, but didn't. Thanks for sharing these pics, Major .

Steve DeGaetano said...

Unfortunately, my only knowledge of the Ginza comes from the TV show "M*A*S*H." =(

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I was wondering if any of those cars were American, or if the Japanese auto manufacturers took their cues from U.S. designs.

TokyoMagic!, I would love to go to Japan, and certainly Tokyo as well. I’m not sure that stopping at a subway station counts as having seen the Ginza!! ;-)

K. Martinez, wow, your dad lived in Tokyo, very cool. My dad supposedly turned down a chance for our family to be stationed in Japan because he thought it would be too hard on us. I can’t help wondering how different my life might be if we had gone!

Steve DeGaetano, everything you need to know about life can be found in M*A*S*H!