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  • Teddy


Pulled rickshaw at Matsumoto castle

Rickshaw is invented in Japan and spread to other nations in Asia since 1869. Horse carriage was the popular transportation before invention of automobile and train in Western world but rickshaw was dominating in Asia. It is interesting that the rickshaw spread to other nations, such as India before Japanese invasion during WWII.

Pulled rickshaw is now used only at tourist areas in Japan such as Asakusa, Tokyo and Kyoto. These rickshaws are pulled by good looking young Japanese men and the customers are mostly Japanese tourists. Foreign tourist taking the rickshaw is quite rare and I believe the reason is that the rickshaw pullers have lack of English skills.

Rickshaw comes from the Japanese word, Jinrikisha. Jin means human and rikisha means powered car. Jinrikisha=Human powered car. Rickshaw is still popular in South East and South Asia, but pulled rickshaw is rare and cycle or auto rickshaws are dominating the business.

On the other hand, due to rickshaw is considered as a tourist transportation as like horse carriage in current Europe, there is no auto or cycle rickshaws in Japan.

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