Recent Posts

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Felice Beato's Japan

THE TOKAIDO. THIS magnificent highway is attractive from being in many places one continued country lane—although a broad, level, well kept one—varied by having rows of thatched cottages on either side. It occasionally leads through populous towns, still however, with the same unpretending cottage bordering it. There is no traffic on the roads of a nature likely to cut them into ruts, or necessitate their frequent repair; there are no carriages, public or private, of any sort in Japan—no rattling teams of fast horses with heavy “Busses" behind them—no coaches with emulative whips trotting along at an exhilarating pace—such a profession as a Post boy is unknown! The echoes of the lovely dells, of which there are many on the Tokaido are never roused by the cheering sound of the Guard’s horn, the remembrance of which, still suggests to ancient lovers of the days of posting in England, the wish, that stage coaches in their glory had not been superseded by the rapid whirl of the railway engine—foot passengers and horses, shod alike with shoes made of straw, or coolies carrying goods or norimons or native chairs, are the only traffic taking wear or tear of any road. . . .

--Felice Beato

link: MIT Visualizing Cultures


Post a Comment