Category Archives: Showa Snap

SHOWA SNAP: Nissan Fairlady Z unveiled at Tokyo Motor Show

On October 18, 1969 the motoring world was forever changed when the Nissan Fairlady Z was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show. These lucky attendees, who probably all have heads of gray now, got to see it in person. Did … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Metropolitan Expressway Route 4 at Asakasa Mitsuke in the 1970s

In preparation for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the Metropolitan Expressway Route 4 Route at Akasaka Mitsuke was rushed to completion. Below the highway, Aoyama Street (National Route 246) intersects with Sotobori Street. Crossing under the right-most branch is the Benkei … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: The old school face of Niigata Station will soon be torn down

The north side of Niigata Station is a Showa Era relic that will soon be no more. It might not look like much, but the nondescript rectangular building screams Showa Era, specifically the time when Japan was emerging from its … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: A fleet of convertible Toyota Crowns are ready for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics

We would be in the first week of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics if the coronavirus hadn’t thrown a giant pole vaulter’s bar into the entire world’s plans. The first time Japan’s capital hosted the Olympic Games was back in 1964, … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Oji San-chome, Kita Ward, Tokyo, 1967

At 10:00 am on April 20, 1967, a procession of Shinto priests followed by a brass band opened a pedestrian footbridge over a five-way intersection in Tokyo. This type of blessing ceremony is typical of grand openings in Japan, even … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, 1974

The Shibuya Crossing, also known as the Shibuya Scramble, is the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world. It’s the intersection Sean’s Evo, Han’s Veilside RX-7, and the Drift King’s Z (digitally) slid through in Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, and … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: An Isuzu escapes a flood of taxis in 1966 Tokyo

With the popularization of the motorcar by the mid 1960s, Tokyo’s pre-war narrow streets could become quite crowded. Even today, there are many side streets where no sidewalks exist and cars simply whiz by as pedestrians side-step street signs and … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Everyone come see the brand new 1966 Toyota Corolla

The debut of the Toyota Corolla was a big deal in 1966. Though, it’s quite likely that even Toyota didn’t know how big of a deal the new model would be. The idea was a small but sporty compact that … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: A Toyota police car pulls over a Datsun, 1965

Like many cities around the world, traffic has died down dramatically due to stay-at-home advisories stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Tokyo’s Shuto Expressway has seen a 60 percent drop in traffic, meaning it probably has not been this traffic-free since … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Kawaramachi-Sanjo, Kyoto, 1972

Kawaramachi-Sanjo, a shopping and nightlife district just northeast of the historic Gion section of Kyoto, was a lively spot after the sun went down. Sharp cars would cruise down Kawaramachi street, past a Fujiya Grill. On this particular 1972 evening, … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Peko-chan looms large over Ginza, circa 1964

Four hundred years ago, Sukiyabashi was a bridge crossing the outermost moat of Edo Castle, which separating nobles and samurai from ordinary townsfolk. Post-war, it became one of the two main intersections in Tokyo’s ritzy Ginza shopping district. In 1964, … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Tokyo Tower under construction, circa 1958

This Tokyo street scene shows a variety of vehicles, from sedans like the Toyopet Crown to large trucks like the Toyota Toyoace to three-wheelers like the Daihatsu CO10T. What really makes the shot, though, is the ghostly bones of Tokyo … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Akita Prefecture, circa 1965

Akita Prefecture, where Japan’s bear-hunting dogs get their namesake, once boasted the northernmost tram on Honshu, Japan’s main island. In this cool shot, all the greats of the early Sixties are seen. A Toyopet Crown waits for pedestrians in the … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Tokyo Imperial Plaza, 1967

With Tokyo Tower looming in the background, the streets in front of the Imperial Palace were absolutely teeming in 1967. Four lanes of traffic in each direction couldn’t keep the stream of Crowns, Cedrics, Glorias, Bluebirds, Publicas, and Minicas flowing. … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Chiyoda, Tokyo, 1972

Tokyo’s subway system is a confounding wonder, but as late as 1972 the metropolis still had streetcars that drove alongside traffic. Here in the Chiyoda district, 510 Bluebirds, Cedrics, Sunnys, Corona Mark IIs, and kujira Crowns teem among the rails. … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Nagoya, 1972

The Nagoya TV Tower was completed in June of 1954 is one of the key landmarks of the central Japanese city. In this photo from 1972, a lineup of taxis before it have the typical Toyota Crowns and Nissan Cedrics, … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Ginza, Tokyo, 1971

The clock tower of the Wako department store has seen countless cars pass beneath its face. Standing over one of the busiest intersections of Tokyo, the 4-chome crossing in Ginza, since 1932, it even predates times when cars were common … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Amago Bridge, Iwaki Prefecture, 1977

For our first Showa Snap of the Reiwa Era, let’s go back to Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture in August of 1977. The Amago bridge traces its origins back to the times of the samurai. It was part of the Hama … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Takamatsu 1972

This slide, said to be taken in 1972 in Takamatsu, is ostensibly of an interesting-looking restaurant that appears to have a small castle-like structure perched atop it. However, what’s even more interesting is the S50 Toyota Crown sedan, Hino truck … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Los Angeles in the early 1980s

Welcome to the first Showa Snap from the US. Taken in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, it contains a glorious sampling of Nihon steel. Right in the foreground there’s three sporty coupes from three major manufacturers, all lined up … Continue reading

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