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Train stations, some curiously named, signal ’11 quake recovery

14 1 1
25.03.2019

When Japan started building its railway networks in the Meiji Era (18681912), train stations, or “eki” in Japanese, were called by various names.

They were called, for example, “sutensho” from the English word "station" and the Japanese word “sho,” which means “place,” “joki-kaisho” (steam meeting place) and “tetsudo-kan” (railway public building). This I have learned from “Eki no shakaishi” (Social history of train stations), a book authored by Katsumasa Harada, a Japanese expert on the history of railways.

The words “kaisho” (meeting place) and “kan” (public building) reflected people’s perception that train stations were places where many people gathered.

A destroyed train line in Iwate Prefecture........

© The Asahi Shimbun