北の生活文化(Development of horse-drawn~ )

 

 

北の生活文化(Development of horse-drawn sleighs )


 

 
Development of horse-drawn sleighs
34.JPG 35.JPG
34. Technique of bending wood for a horse-drawn
    sleigh at Shibamaki Plant
35. Sapporo style horse-drawn sleigh
   manufactured at Shibamaki Plant
 In the early Meiji era, techniques for manufacturing horse-drawn sleighs were introduced to Sapporo from Russia. This was an unprecedented event in Japan and considered most exceptional as most major industrial techniques were imported from the United States. The idea came from Kiyotaka Kuroda, Director General of (he Hokkaido Development Commission, who had learned that horse-drawn sleighs were extremely convenient means of winter transport upon his study tour in Vladivostock and Korsakov in Sakhalin.

 The Russian horse-drawn sleigh is characterized by the construction technique which bends thick square logs and thin round logs after steam is applied. Japan had long applied the technique of bending thin and narrow wooden boards in its delicate handcraft traditions and this new technique was learned directly from the Russian people. The Russian horse-drawn sleigh was a prototype which led to the production of three styles of sleigh developed in Sapporo, Aomori and Hakodate. The Sapporo style horse-drawn sleighs evolved to become bigger, stronger and more attractive than those in the Russian style though they were directly influenced by the Russian prototype. They were equipped with a bigger wooden base and a much bigger bow on the top.

 People who wished to be craftsmen were apprenticed to masters when they finished elementary school and became fully skilled by the time they reached 20 years of age. After they served their masters for one year as a way of offering thanks, they gained experience at different workshops until they became independent and opened their own workshops.
 
Development of stoves
37.JPG 38.JPG 39.JPG 40.JPG
37. Junker Stove 38. Rolland stove 39. Stove in the
  shape of a clock
40. Stove in the oval
  shape
 The first stove was made in 1856 in Hokkaido, ordered by a Hakodate magistrate. Isaburo Takeda. the designer of Goryokaku, the pentagonal fortress in Hakodate, was appointed to draw a plan after carefully studying a stove aboard an English ship and the stove was produced by a caster, Genkichi Meguro, in Hakodate.

 Stoves became popular quickly in towns and cities during the period from the end of the Meiji era to the Taisho and early Showa periods in the 1910s and 1920s. The Hokkaido Development Commission promoted the use of tinplate wood stoves in the early Meiji era and stoves of various designs were made. These include the Rolland stove which was introduced by the American missionary George Rolland who lived in Sapporo during the Period from 1896 to 1925 and a wood stove manufactured by local casters featuring different round and oval shapes and sometimes in the shape of a clock in the upper part of the stove. Casters were able to produce 2 to 3 units a day, and reportedly they had to acquire the skill of stove-making in order to be considered fully accomplished.

 Increased coal production during the Taisho era led to the wider use of imported coal stoves including a Junket stove from Germany which influenced the style of coal stoves locally manufactured from the end of the Taisho era to the early Showa period in the 1920s. From 1965 to 1984, electric heaters became very popular. followed by the popularity of oil heaters, both due to the decline of the coal industry.

 Most houses today are heated by oil heaters or a central heating system using kerosene.
 
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