Apr 6, 2008

Shitamachi Museum Annex

Shitamachi is a term that denotes a specific part of an urban area. In old Tokyo in the Edo period, a town where commoners (typically merchants and artisans) lived started to be called a shitamachi. Present-day people also refer to such a town as a shitamachi. Many of the shitamachi towns sit in areas along Tokyo bay and rivers.

The Shitamachi Museum Annex on the Shinobazunoike Pond in Taito Ward exhibits the atmosphere of a shitamachi, where the imitated exteriors and interiors of a merchant house, row house, public bath entrance hall, cafe, etc. are displayed. You can imagine how the daily life of people in a shitamachi was in old days.

The unique point of this museum is that you can touch exhibited articles and take photos of them. You can take off your shoes to go up in an exhibited room where old furniture and fixtures are placed and tatami mats are laid. Also, you can climb up the fee collector's stand in the public bath entrance hall. If you pretend to be a person who lived in a shitamashi when sitting in front of a low dining table, you are given vicarious feeling of those who once lived in a shitamachi.

A head clerk is using an abacus for an accounting job at the shop front. The white object on the right in the picture is a pottery cat figurine, which is believed to attract many customers and bring good fortune.


This time, this guy has climbed up on the fee collector's stand in the public bath entrance hall. Is he working or peeping in the women's changing room?


This TV set does not get good reception. Usually, her blow works well.

In the cafe, there are some wooden puzzles for time killing of customers. The trumpet-shaped object on the counter is the speaker of the record player.
This is a hibachi for heating. It is also used for warming sake. This copper container contains water, which is heated by charcoal fire placed under the container. The hot water warms the sake in a sake liquor bottle.

2 comments:

jaspercaesar said...

hajimemashite. how noble of you to share the japanese culture to the world by translating jap into english for the world to understand. i met a fine young japanese woman who works in the Japanese Embassy in Manila who does translations,too. gambatte!

Ichibay said...

jaspercaesar,
Thank you for your comment. I just started this blog, and received no comments excepts those simply saying "boring" or "not interested." So, you are the first person who gave me such attentive words.
Thank you!