I like photo exhibits.
I usually go to the annual Press Photos Exhibit in downtown Tokyo every December.
There is currently another photo exhibit in Tokyo that I want to see.
The 「警視庁カメラマンが撮った昭和モダンの情景 ・ 石川光陽写真展」 (“Koyo Ishikawa – Documentary Photographs of the Showa Era by a Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Cameraman”) exhibit.
石川光陽 (Koyo Ishikawa) was a photographer with the Tokyo Police Department and was tasked with taking photographs of the city just prior to, during, and after World War II.
Tokyo Police photographer, Koyo Ishikawa
The period of time that Mr. Ishikawa lived and photographed is called the 昭和時代 (Showa Era) in Japan. This period was from late 1926 until early 1989.
I came to Japan in 1990…just after the Showa Era ended, but I’m very interested in this period of Japan’s history. So I’m planning to go to this photo exhibit.
The 「警視庁カメラマンが撮った昭和モダンの情景 ・ 石川光陽写真展」 (“Koyo Ishikawa – Documentary Photographs of the Showa Era by a Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Cameraman”) photo exhibit is currently at the “Old Shinbashi Station” which is near 新橋駅 (Shinbashi train station) in Tokyo.
It will be there until 2011 March 21st. The hours are 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM and is open everyday except Mondays.
Admission is free of charge.
Here are some of the photos that were taken by Koyo Ishikawa:
Asakusa, Tokyo in 1937
Ginza, Tokyo in 1933.
Tokyo train station in 1936
Ueno, Tokyo in 1935
Tokyo looks so very different today!
Today is ７月４日 (July 4). 「アメリカ独立記念日」 (American Independence Day).
I don’t usually do anything special on this day. Although there are many 花火大会 (fireworks shows) in Japan during the summer, they don’t usually start until late July or early August.
Watching fireworks is a “Fourth Of July” tradition in America, but I don’t live in America.
(It’s possible that the U.S. military bases in Japan will have a fireworks show this evening. I’m not sure. I don’t live near any U.S. military base anyways).
But anyways, in honor of the 234th anniversary of America’s independence from England, I am writing a list of some of American inventions that have changed the world (in most cases, for the better).
So, according to the U.S. Patent Office, this is a list of some of the numerous things that have been invented in America:
By no ways a complete list, but here is a timeline of some highlights of world history.
Japan-related dates are written in red.
- 1281: Mongolia was conquering most of Asia. As the Mongolian Navy was heading to Japan to invade, a giant typhoon sunk their entire fleet. Thus saving Japan.
That typhoon was called 「神風」 (“Kamikaze“), which means “Divine Wind“, in Japan.The World War 2 Kamikaze pilots were named after this typhoon.
- 1346: The Black Plague started and eventually killed nearly half of Europe’s population.
- 1492: Christopher Columbus lands in America. But he believed he was in India and called the inhabitants “Indians“.
- 1603: 「江戸時代」 (The “Edo Period“) begins in Japan.
- 1680: The 将軍 (Shougun), Tsunayoshi, loved dogs and enacted a number of laws protecting dogs and making harming them a criminal offense.He is therefore often called “The Dog Shogun”.
- 1776: America declares it’s independence from England.
- 1789: French Revolution began.
- 1804: Napoleon became the Emperor of France.
- 1854: U.S. Naval Commodore Matthew Perry forced Japan to open to trade with the West.At first Japan resisted and the island of Odaiba was built in Tokyo Bay to defend Japan from the American forces. But Perry’s fleet of black ships were too intimidating and Japan enacted law to allow trade with the West in general and America in particular.The resulting influx of American goods and culture sparked Japan’s “Westernization”.
1859: Charles Darwin published his book “The Origin Of Species“.
1861: The U.S. Civil War began.
An Ukiyoe portrait of Cmdr. Perry. His name is written as 「ぺルリ」 ("Peruri") because that's what it sounded like to the Japanese when Perry said his name with his American accent.
1868: 「明治時代」 (The “Meiji Period“) started in Japan. This was a period of modernization.
1876: Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone.
1904: The Russia-Japan War began. Russia underestimated Japan and lost the war.
1905: Albert Einstein published his “Theory Of Relativity” (E=MC?)
1912: The “unsinkable” RMS Titanic sunk.
1914 – 1918: World War 1.
1937: The zeppelin Hindenberg exploded over the U.S. state of New Jersey.
1939 – 1945: World War 2.
1941 December 7: Japan attacked the U.S. Naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
1945 August 6: America dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of 広島 (Hiroshima).
1945 August 9: America dropped a second atomic bomb on Japan. This time on the city of 長崎 (Nagasaki).
1961: Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin became the first man in space, starting the “Space Race” to the moon between America and Russia.
1964: Tokyo, Japan hosted the Summer Olympics. The first Olympic games hosted in an Asian city.
1969: U.S. Astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first (and so far, only) man to walk on the moon.
1972: Sapporo, Japan hosted the Winter Olympics.
1990 October 17: I (“Tokyo Five”) came to Japan.
1995 January 17: 「阪神淡路大震災」 (Hanshin-awajidai-shinsai), (“The Kobe Earthquake“) destroyed the city of 神戸 (Kobe, Japan).
1998: Nagano, Japan hosted the Winter Olympics.
2001 September 11: Both of the World Trade Center in New York City, USA and The Pentagon in Washington D.C. are attacked by commercial airplanes hijacked by terrorists. Both of the towers in NYC were destroyed completely.
A collapsed overpass after the Kobe Earthquake; 1995 January.
I know that I left out many important dates. Feel free to write any that you can think of in the comments section of this post.
And did you witness any historic events?
It’s probably safe to say that nearly everyone knows who Mickey Mouse® is.
The world-famous American cartoon character was created by Walt Disney and made his movie debut in the cartoon titled “Steamboat Willie” on November 18, 1928. Eighty years ago last Tuesday.
Have you ever been to any of the Disneyland® amusement parks?
I believe there are Disney parks in five cities.
Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California USA.
Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida USA.
Tokyo Disney Resort (includes Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea) in Maihama, Chiba Japan (near Tokyo).
Disneyland Resort Paris in Paris, France.
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort in Hong Kong, China.
I have been to Disney World® in Orlando, Florida and, of course, 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland) and 東京ディズニーシー (Tokyo DisneySea)® in Japan…but none of the others.
My kids love ディズニーランド (Disneyland)…so we’ve been to 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland) a number of times.
Speaking of 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland), not only is this year Mickey Mouse’s 80th birthday…but it’s also the 25th anniversary of 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland). The park opened in 1983.
(東京ディズニーシー (Tokyo DisneySea) opened in 2001).
When I came to Japan, 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland) was only seven years old…now 東京ディズニーシー (Tokyo DisneySea) is that old!