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Kago - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Kago, Boso no Mura Open Air Museum, Chiba

Before the invention of rickshaw (jin riki sha in Japanese), until the end of the 19th century, the most popular transportation method in Japan was the kago. Kago was a kind of palanquin with a single crossbeam, designed to be to be carried on the shoulders by two men. Used by ordinary people, the construction of a regular kago was very simple, with bamboo straw screens and just a pillow as shock absorber (like the one photographed here). Of course, for nobility and warriors more expensive models were available, called norimono

Although today it seems strange, the widespread usage of the kago is explainable, because at the time the horses were very expensive in Japan, so they were used only for military purposes. However, human labor was cheap…

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