Postman and Bicycle
Review by JoshB
Here's something different. Shitamachi Omoide Jitensha is Japanese for "Shitamachi Memories of Bicycles". These are small gashapon-like dioramas that come in cubes that you assemble and decorate. What makes these so interesting is not the toy itself, but the subject matter.
The term Shitamachi literally means "Down Town" or "Low City" but what it means today is an expression of a certain time and aesthetic. In the old days, people who lived in the Shitamachi section of Tokyo were the hard workers, the entrepreneurs with strong values and respect for their heritage. One could compare it to the mythical "Main Street USA" of America's golden years, only in an urban setting. There is a museum devoted to all things Shitamachi in Ueno, the heart of old Shitamachi.
This series of toys depicts scenes of everyday life in Shitamachi, seen through the context of the Bicycle. Each diorama replicates a scene, with a replica of an authentic period bicycle.
This particular diorama is "Postman and Bicycle". The set depicts a postman delivering mail with a traditional red single gear bicycle, with mail bags on the front and back. You have to put the set together.
It comes with gum. Don't eat the gum. Trust me.
Included is a Japanese Mailbox, and a bunch of stickers that replicate various posters and notices that you can apply as you see fit.
It's a neat idea, and an interesting take on what we here at CollectionDX think of as a Japanese Toy.
|Posted 12 January, 2010 - 09:03 by JoshB|