How did railroads, gas lights and electricity start in Japan? A thing that still remains in civilization opening, a thing which disappeared


Various Western culture entered in the Meiji era – it is familiar "history civilization" even in the class of history.
Some of them are still in use (predecessor), others are gone and disappeared with the flow of the times … ….

Following the food, clothing & shelter of the Meiji era of yesterday, this time Let's look at the railway, gas light, electric of the Meiji era.

Train ~ Origin is the Edo Shogunate? Perry gives a model

The railway is made for commercial & economic purposes.
And this is only a modern viewpoint, it was greatly related to the military purpose in the Meiji era.

Originally the railroad vision was introduced in the latter part of the Edo period.
The shogunate was acquiring information with some twists, "There is something called the railroad in the West, which is used for these purposes."

Afterwards, models of railroads were brought to Yokohama as deliverables to the general at the time of Perry's flight, and trial operation was done.
Also, in Nagasaki I was modeling in my country based on the model brought from Russian fleet.

At this point, than the railway itself
"Can you study a steam engine to make a more advanced warship"
It seems that the purpose was strong.

Therefore, the Satsuma clan and the Fukuoka clan made models, and the Choshu clan · Kaga clan purchased a locomotive model … … secretly attracted attention.
Shimazu Yoshinagi etc were actively trying to preempt Western civilization, so maybe I was touched by the big drama "Saigo Don" next year … ….

In any case, it did not come out suddenly in the Meiji era, but due to the fact that the American American mission of the end of the Edo era and the European mission of the European Union actually entered the railroad,
"If we can introduce this to Japan, will it be useful in various ways?"
It was supposed to be thought.

incorporate the British style railway that was successful in India

And the Edo shogunate was not merely an idea.

We have set up a railroad construction plan, and concrete plans were also submitted from foreigners who came in and out at this time.
Unfortunately, before that by Tokugawa Yoshihiro to the Great Government Refund the shogunate itself will disappear, so we did not realize ….

Meanwhile, foreigners who had the plan submitted something similar to the Meiji government.

The partner that the new government chose as a partner is the UK.
A meeting was held with Harry Parks, the British minister in Tokyo, and construction will be decided in Meiji 2.
That was why the UK at the time had already experienced many railroads in India.

However, the Meiji Government that just started up was in short supply of funds, and the opposition from inside was persistent.
Indeed, there were too many things to do and there was no money at all, and it was a lack of circumstances, and when introducing a completely new thing, the opinion "It is wasteful to spend money on such things !!" is a strong one .

So the government has financed funds with foreign bonds (foreign borrowing), and completed in such a way in 1872.

Japan 's first railway opened between Shimbashi and Yokohama.
After that it was fragmentedly opened, and I tried the following list.

· Meiji 7 (1874) Osaka ~ Kobe
· Meiji 10 (1877) Kyoto ~ Osaka ※ Southwest War
· Meiji 13 (1880) Otsu ~ Kyoto
· Meiji 13 (1880) Nagahama – Kanegasaki (Tsuruga Port)

At that time, merely connecting the cities, the city and the harbor did not play a role as a means of transportation across the whole of the country or region.

So the surprising event will be a boost to the railroad.
It is a familiar southwest war in Saigo Takamori.

Actually, at that time, the Army became aggressive in railroad construction as it realized the convenience of land transportation by railroad.
When the country goes back to the forefront, attention will be gained by the private sector and business entrepreneurs will start investing.

With such a trend, private railroads also increased in the Meiji 20 or so, and the private distance was longer than the public (national) railway business distance.

Military transportation is more important after two wars

Although it is a railway that grew steadily, the private railway company was also hit hard by the crisis in Meiji 23 and temporarily the railway industry stagnated.

Until this time, the railroad-related department was responsible for the Ministry of Industry, the railroad agency was newly established and independent.
In the meantime, between the Shinbashi – Kobe between Kawato & Takasaki – Naoetsu, private railway Ueno – Aomori etc. opened, and the domestic transportation was greatly developed.
The distance that took tens of days until the Edo period has been shortened much, which also leads to the activation of flow of people and goods, and the movement of money.

Furthermore, the usefulness of military transportation was again proved in the Sino-Japanese War (1894) & the Russo-Japanese War (1904) and the public economy Due to worsening, private railroads, which had seventeen companies, became state-owned, and the standards were unified.
After the Sino-Japanese War, Taiwan and Korea, after the Russo-Japanese War, part of the northeastern part of China, a railroad was laid by Japan. I feel that this neighborhood is indeed involved with the army.

Incidentally, it is a while later that a Japanese subway is born.
Although it seems there was a plan in the Taisho era, the start was delayed by the Great Kanto Earthquake, etc. and finally started business in the early Showa era.

Although it is still sweet, Iino Shiori who plays Mr. Ikuo Takahashi in the morning dora "Iro Tenka" is a model of Kobu Kobayashi who will be the manager of Hankyu Electric Railway later.
He made the state-owned Hanzul railway private railway and contributed greatly to the development of the Kansai region. For details, refer to the following article.

Model of Shiratori Inai Shiori (Takahashi Issei) Commentary on the 84th year of Kobayashi Izo's lifetime!

Gas light – after all the first time is Yokohama

It may be a daily necessity that ordinary people felt the most civilization opening up.

It is a gas light and a lamp.
You can feel the romantic like Meiji and Taisho era.

Gas lights are written lights, like lighting fixtures using gas.
As a streetlight, the businessman in Yokohama asked the French design, and in the Meiji 5 the first time it was installed and used within a certain range.
Although it seems there was a gas light used at the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, it was not considered permanent, so it is not regarded as "domestic first".

After successful in Yokohama, gas lamps as street lamps were made in several places in Tokyo, and after that they were also used indoors.
Also, the luminosity has been improved.

However, because the production of gas has not yet been able to catch up, the households used lamps throughout the Meiji Period.

There was a work called "lighting husband" turning around with a gas light in the evening and it was one of the longing professions of the common people.
It may be because the gas lamp itself was not in a general household.

Later, as gas lamps emerged and further improvement of power generation technology enabled the transmission of power to long distances, gas lamps will be lost in the Taisho era as early as possible.

Currently there are parts left for sightseeing or reprints as a part of directing.
Let's be one of the disappearing civilization.

Electricity – Actually hydroelectric power was active from that time

Civilization opening that is most important and still remains for modern society will be electricity (electric power business).
Originally started in the United States in 1879, the first electric power company in Japan was built four years later, in 1883.

Because of the lack of funds, the actual opening of business will take place three more years, but it is not a birthplace but has been introduced from the early stage.

Electric power company's business performance also improved steadily due to the fact that electricity was used to illuminate office buildings and wealthy people.
In response to this, the establishment of a power company is proceeding in Osaka and Kobe too.

By the way, the electricity charge at that time was 17 yen / month at 9 watts.
Since 10 kg of rice is 1 yen + α, the initial salary of the public servant was 50 yen, it is expensive because it is a story.
Still, "Electricity has less risk of fire and easy to handle" and it was attractive to many people, so the number of users increased steadily.

Main power generation at that time was due to fire power.
However, as the price of coal rises, the cost increases drastically, and the performance of electric power companies will start to decline.

For this reason, Kyoto City considered "whether it can generate electricity using the water of Lake Biwa", and hydroelectric power generation began in the twentieth century.
Thermal power generation is mainly carried out at night, and hydroelectric power generation can be generated and transmitted regardless of day and night, enabling power supply for 24 hours continuous.

Thanks to these technological improvements, we succeeded in reducing the cost by 30 to 40% compared to thermal power generation. This further increased the number of users and the profit of electric power companies improved.

It may be a Japanese-like idea to keep an eye on hydroelectric power generation.
More than half of total power output is covered by hydroelectric power in the 44th year of Meiji. And this situation continued for a while and until the 1960s Japan was centered on hydroelectric power generation.

"The method that was born in the Meiji Era was mainstream until the period of high growth period"
I think it is quite a great story.

Due to the possibility of mass power generation, the electricity which was mainly used for lighting until now has become available for industrial use as well.

Make electricity at the power plant and send it to the factory, the factory manufactures goods, sells it, invests the money in the electric power company, and makes new power plants and technology – just the cycle of capital.
Since the hydropower station takes several years from planning to opening up, there was also a time lag, but considering the time to get the profitable and profitable amount of money to invest in the factory would not have been such a bad story either.

In this way, the life of the Japanese has gradually approached the present age.

Focusing on "the food, clothing and shelter" in the Meiji Era – What changed from the Edo period What went on?

Chitose Changchun

Reference: National Railroad Dictionary "Railroad" "Electric power business" "Gas light" civilization opening / wikipedia railroad / wikipedia gas light / wikipedia

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