Thursday, April 27, 2006

Picture you on The Peak

The first rickshaws appeared in Japan around 1868, with the beginning of the Meiji period. They soon became a popular mode of transportation. The identity of the inventor remains uncertain. Japanese sources often credit Izumi Yosuke, Suzuki Tokujiro, and Takayama Kosuke, who are said to have invented rickshaws in 1868. Rickshaws were first imported from Japan to Hong Kong in 1874, peaking at more than 3,000 in the 1920s. No new licenses for rickshaws have been issued for many years, and only a few old men -about 15 as of 1999, and only four as of 2002- still ply their trade, mainly by posing for pictures.

Sam Renseiw met with the last representative of the trade, on the Peak. Listen to the friendly conversation and enjoy the view by clicking here, or touch the green cover on the left of the picture above (patafilm 153, 00'43'', 3.6 MB, mov/quicktime- flash version here)