Tokushima Air Raids Digital Archive

By Austin Smith.

The former Takahara Building on the banks of the Shinmachi River, Tokushima.
The former Takahara Building on the banks of the Shinmachi River, Tokushima.

Tokushima was one of a number of Japanese cities bombed during a major assault which coincided with American Independence Day. The bombing began on the evening of 3rd July 1945 and continued throughout the night. Sixty-two percent of the city was hit by incendiary bombs from B29 bombers. Approximately one thousand people died and about two thousand were injured.

The Tokushima Air Raids Archive is a small photographic collection which is exhibited every July to mark the anniversary of this event. The exhibition is held in the former Takahara Building, a western-style building that survived the bombing. It stands on the banks of the Shinmachi River and the room in which the exhibition is held retains the original windows which were cracked on that night. The photographs in the collection span the twentieth century history of Tokushima City, including pre-war, wartime and post-war images.

The exhibitiom gallery's original chicken wire windows.
The exhibition gallery’s original chicken wire windows.

The Tokushima Air Raids Digital Archive was launched in 2013 and is available all year round. I have written English explanations for the collection to coincide with the 2014 exhibition and to make the modern history of Tokushima accessible to a wider audience for years to come. Fifty-one additional images taken during the Occupation and post-war period (1946-1961) were added to this collection to coincide with the 71st anniversary in July 2016.

Every effort has been made to retain the essence of the original Japanese text and all of the information provided. Some contextual information has been added to aid understanding for the foreign reader. The responsibility for any inaccuracies is entirely my own.

The archive header which provides details of the devastating which occurred in July 1945.
The archive’s header which provides details of the devastating air raid which occurred in July 1945.

Pre-war Tokushima

These images are courtesy of the Tokushima Prefectural Archive.

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Tokushima City in 1907

This photograph was taken from Mt. Bizan. Remnants of the former castle town surround Shiroyama and whitewashed indigo storehouses can be seen along the banks of the Shinmachi River. This period marked the beginning of Tokushima’s decline in prosperity, the indigo industry which had supported the local economy for hundreds of years collapsed due to the introduction of artificial dyes.

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A pre-war postcard from Otakiyama.

The area at the foot of Bizan, near Teramachi, is known as Otakiyama. Although the area fell into decline from the early Showa period onwards, it remained a popular cherry blossom viewing spot.

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A pre-war postcard featuring Otakiyama Pagoda.

This three-story pagoda was built at Otakiyama in the Edo period as a landmark for the castle town of Tokushima. It was destroyed by the air raid of 1945 and never rebuilt.

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Ryogoku Bridge.

This image is taken from the Tokushima Scenic Postcards collection. Ryogoku Bridge was originally built from wood in 1880 to connect two of the cities wards. It was replaced by a reinforced concrete bridge in 1927.

Indigo storehouses along Shinmachigawa
Indigo storehouses along the Shinmachi River.

These whitewashed indigo storehouses, known as aikura, lined the banks of the Shinmachigawa and were a symbol of Tokushima’s prosperity. 

The new Tokushima Prefectural Office, 1930.
The new Tokushima Prefectural Office, 1930.

The Prefectural Office was built in the Imperial Crown style and made of reinforced concrete. It sits triumphantly by the Shinmachi River as a symbol of Tokushima’s status as one of Western Japan’s great prefectural capitals.

The opening of the Marushin department store
The opening of the Marushin department store

A department store opened in Higashi-Shinmachi on 24th March, 1934. It was renamed the “Marushin” department store the following year. The people of Tokushima marveled at this imposing structure.

Daimaru Serumosu store, 1935.
Daimaru Serumosu store, 1935.

In response to the opening of the Marushin department store other retailers in the area tried a number of new sales techniques to generate business. This photograph shows the grand sale at Daimaru Serumosu.

Awa Odori at Shinmachi Bridge
Awa Odori at Shinmachi Bridge.

This photograph shows a line of Awa Odori dancers passing over the Shinmachi Bridge. Bon Odori was re-branded as “Awa Odori” by the Tourist Association of Tokushima in 1932 to promote the event nationally as a tourist attraction.

A pre-war photograph of Higashi-Shinmachi Arcade
A pre-war photograph of Higashi-Shinmachi Arcade.

The Higashi-Shinmachi Arcade, which opened in 1931, runs from Kagoya-machi to Nishi-Shinmachi. It can be accessed from the station area via the Shinmachi Bridge. Tokushima’s newly created shopping street had a unique atmosphere.

A pre-war postcard of Shinmachi Bridge
A pre-war postcard of Shinmachi Bridge.
Tokushima Scenic Spot Postcard of Shinmachi Bridge
Tokushima Scenic Postcard of Shinmachi Bridge.

Shinmachi Bridge was built in the early modern period and became one of the symbols of Tokushima along with the Eagle Gate and Bizan. The bridge was replaced several times during the Edo period and, in 1880, an iron bridge was constructed with metal cast at Osaka Army Arsenal (Osaka Hohei Kosho).

Konya-machi in the early Showa period
Konya-machi in the early Showa period

The Tachiki Photo Gallery is shown covered in ivy on the right of this photograph. Turn left at the corner of the gallery to reach the Kenban building.

The first cinema, Higashi-Shinmachi, c.1935.
Daiichi Movie Theatre, Higashi-Shinmachi, c.1935.

Merrian C. Cooper’s 1935 adaptation of Sir Henry Rider Haagard’s classic adventure novel She: A History of Adventure is being screened.

Tokushima during the war
These pictures are courtesy of Tokushima Newspaper Company (Tokushima Shinbunsha).

Members of Tokushima’s air raid defence unit in uniform, 1939.
“Luxury is the enemy!” A women wearing work clothing, known as “tsutsusode”, 1943.
Kamona Young Women Association racing up ladders, 1943.
Kamona Young Women Association racing up ladders, 1943.
Air raid defense excercises being carried out after an air raid warning was issued, 1944.
Air raid defense excercises being carried out after an air raid warning was issued, 1944.
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The “bucket brigade” training to fight fires, 1940.
Instructions for lighting the home, 1941.
Instructions for lighting the home during wartime, 1941.
Buses gathered at Tokushima Station on National Mobilisation Law Day, 1940.
Buses gathered at Tokushima Station on National Mobilisation Law Day, 1940.

Public and private bus companies were formed across Tokushima Prefecture from the Taisho period onwards. In 1940 it was announced that these companies would be nationalised in line with government policy and the integrated Tokushima Bus Company, the Seibu Bus Company and the Tokushima Municipal Bus Company were formed.

Waving off the troops at Tokushima Station.
Waving off the troops at Tokushima Station.

A send-off for departing soldiers at Tokushima Station. The women’s sashes show that they were members of the Great Japan National Defense Women’s Association which was formed to cooperate with the military effort in 1932. Women gave send-offs to troops bound for Manchuria after the Incident, and welcomed them on their return. Housewives and working women raised money for national defense, recycled discarded goods and collected other donations such as blankets. This group merged with other women’s groups to form the Great Japan Women’s Association in 1942.

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Soldiers departing for the front and rare enlistment papers from the last day of the war.

This photograph shows the people of Akagawachi (in Hiwasa, Kaifu-gun) seeing off young men who are responding to a call to the front. The accompanying documents are rare enlistment orders dating from the last day of the war.

Inspecting newly enlisted troops at Kuramoto-cho, late Taisho period.
Enlisting troops at Kuramoto-cho, late Taisho period.

This photograph, showing the 43rd Regiment at Kuramoto-cho, Tokushima-shi, shows typical scenes at an enlistment ceremony in the late Taisho period.

A family photograph to mark the enlisting, Awa-gun, 1941.
A ceremonial family photograph to celebrate a soldier enlisting, Awa-gun, 1941.
Outdoor military training in the Showa period.
Outdoor military training in the Showa period.

The Pacific War broke out on 8th December 1941, rigorous training was introduced to respond to the threat of poison gas and biological warfare.

Tokushima's Naval Fleet Air Division
The Tokushima division of the Naval Air Group.

Members of Tokushima’s Naval Air Group being comforted by a song titled “Only to die tomorrow” (ashita ha shinu mi) during their relaxation time.

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Tokushima Naval Air Group White Chrysanthemum Commando.

A commemorative photograph taken in front of the Naval Air Group control tower on 20th May 1945. A third of the pilots were “scattered with flowers” in the Battle of Okinawa as part of the Kikusui Strategy (a final attempt to defend the islands from invasion).

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The Tokushima White Chrysanthemum Commando lined up, circa 1945.

On 1st April 1942 the Tokushima Naval Air Group was established in Matsushige, Itano-gun. They were initially a regular flying corp. However, as national strategy shifted towards the end of the war, five special attack squadrons were formed, the first on 25th May, 1945. All five squadrons were sent to the Battle of Okinawa.

The Great Tokushima Air Raid

On 22nd December 1944, streaks of white cut across the clear winter sky and the people of Tokushima saw the B29 for the first time. At this time it seemed almost like Tokushima was a bystander in the war.  However, that all changed at the beginning of 1945 as the U.S. launched a decisive bombing campaign against Tokyo on 10th March, Nagoya on 12th March, Osaka on 14th March and Kobe on 17th March. In May 1945, attacks were extended to the Chugoku and Shikoku regions. Several hundred incendiary bombs were dropped on Okinosu on 1st June 1945. Between 5th and 15th June, incendiary attacks were carried out against Tsuda and Yoshino-cho by B29s. On 22nd June, a 50kg bomb was dropped on Akita-machi. On 26th June, one tonne bombs were dropped on Suketo and Sumiyoshi-cho. Two hundred people were killed. The people of Tokushima, who had thought they were safe in their rural setting, away from the munitions factories, began to worry that they would be the next targets of the air raids.

The full-scale attack many had feared came on the evening of the 3rd July 1945 and continued throughout the night. Sixty-two percent of the city was hit by incendiary bombs from B29 bombers, known as the “Superfortress”. An area of 4,620 square metres was reduced to ash. Over 16,000 houses were destroyed, affecting more than 70,000 people. 1,001 people died and about two thousand were injured. The Prefectural Government Office, schools, libraries, Tokushima Station, banks, post offices, hospitals, shrines, temples and many companies were destroyed. Tokushima was paralysed, all methods of communication and transportation were suspended as well as electricity, and water supplies.

These images are courtesy of the Tokushima Prefectural Archive.

The Teramachi and Shinmachi area of Tokushima City viewed from Bizan.
The Teramachi and Shinmachi area of Tokushima City viewed from Bizan.
An aerial photograph of Tokushima City taken by U.S. forces before the air raid, March 1945.
An aerial photograph of Tokushima City taken by U.S. forces before the air raid, March 1945.

This aerial photograph was taken by U.S. forces on 24th March 1945. Aerial surveillance, along with pre-war maps of the city, allowed the U.S. forces to strategise for the bombing of Tokushima.

An aerial photograph of Tokushima City taken by U.S. forces the day after the air raid, 5th July 1945.
An aerial photograph of Tokushima City taken by U.S. forces the day after the air raid, 5th July 1945.

This aerial photograph was taken by U.S. forces on 5th July 1945. It shows the ruined city of Tokushima following a sustained bombing which lasted several hours.

A map showing the extent of the bombing.
A map showing the extent of the bombing.
The Sako Otani area in the aftermath of the bombing.

There was almost nothing left of the Sako Otani area. Yet, surrounded by the misery of war, an elderly couple relax in an open-air bath. Beautiful colours usually grace Sakoyama in spring but this wartime scene is desolate.

The ruins of Shinmachi Bridge.
The scorched remains of Shinmachi Bridge.

The Shinmachi Bridge which was enjoyed by many citizens was sadly destroyed by the air raid. Its modern form reflected in the river water, it was a bridge of many memories. A temporary bridge was created with the support of the remaining girders (shown above).

All that remains amongst the rubble of Shinmachi, Higashi-Tomida and the centre of town are structures that had been made from reinforced concrete. Along the Shinmachigawa we can make out Ryogoku Bridge, Kachidoki Bridge and the Prefectural Office.
All that remains amongst the rubble of Shinmachi, Higashi-Tomida and Uchimachi are structures that had been made from reinforced concrete. Along the Shinmachigawa we can make out Ryogoku Bridge, Kachidoki Bridge and the Prefectural Office.
This photograph shows the flattened Sako area, leading to Tamiya.
A photograph of the Sako area (5-chome).
A photograph of the Sako area.
A photograph of the Sako area (6 & 7-chome).
A look at the devastation in the centre of town.
A look at the devastation in Uchimachi.

If you look towards the Uchimachi from Ryogoku Bridge you can see the thick, white storehouse walls. It is possible to identify the reinforced concrete structure of Uchimachi Elementary School in front of the station (where the SOGO department store now stands).

The Nishi-Shinmachi area.
The Nishi-Shinmachi area.

Edo period storehouses which withstood the bombing can be seen standing amongst the rubble and they were used by some as temporary accommodation. During the air raid incendiary bombs fell on Tokushima like rain.

The scorched remains of the reinforced concrete structures of Chamber of Commerce, Awa Commercial Bank, Sanwa Bank and the The Central Telephone Office buildings were all that remained in Nishi-Senba and Nishi-Shinmachi.
The scorched Chamber of Commerce, Awa Commercial Bank, Sanwa Bank and the The Central Telephone Office buildings in Nishi-Senba and Nishi-Shinmachi.
A photograph of the Sako area (1-chome)
A photograph of the Sako area near Myoho-ji (1-chome)
An area of Sako that partially survived the bombing (3 & 4-chome)
In the background we can see an area of Sako which partially survived the air raid.
The ruins of Nishi-Tomida-cho.
The ruins of Nishi-Tomida-cho.

The ruins of Nishi-Tomida-cho viewed from Konpira Shrine. This area was crowded with survivors trying to find out if their families were safe.

Buildings on both sides of the road were destroyed but the large gate of Yamauchi hospital remains.
Buildings on both sides of the main road in 4-chome were destroyed but the gate of the Yamauchi Hospital remained standing.
The damage in the Shinmachi area
The damage to the Shinmachi area.

Reinforced concrete buildings such as banks and department stores stayed standing but the shopping district of Tokushima was burnt to the ground. Tokushima was not an exception, the flames of war destroyed cities indiscriminately across Japan.

The scene of devastation in Teramachi, the temple area.
The scene of devastation in Teramachi, the temple area.

This is the devastating scene of burnt tombstones in Teramachi. Before the war venerable temple gates stood here, side-by-side. The roof of the main temple once towered up majestically high.

The gas tank and ice house were all that remained in Dekijima.
The gas tank and ice house were all that remained in Dekijima (photograph taken from Mishima Shrine).

These images are courtesy of Tokushima Newspaper Company (Tokushima Shinbunsha).

Flyers dropped from U.S. aircraft in July 1945 instructing the Japanese to surrender.
Leaflets dropped from U.S. aircraft in July 1945 instructing the Japanese to surrender.

About a week after the air raid leaflets were scattered across the devastated city. The leaflets were written in Japanese and said “Face an ugly death in vain or choose to surrender with honour!” These leaflets were referred to as dentan, propaganda leaflets. The police and military would collect them and it was forbidden for civilians to possess them or even look at them.

Flyers dropped from U.S. aircraft in July 1945 instructing the Japanese to surrender.
Flyers dropped from U.S. aircraft in July 1945 instructing the Japanese to surrender.

Post-war Tokushima

This image is courtesy of the Tokushima Prefectural Archive.

The Black Market.
The Black Market.

Tokushima’s black market economy was born from the ashes during the U.S. Occupation. This image shows the market for contraband products in 1946. The U.S. forces were hostile towards the black market economy but its existence was vital for the people of the city. In the final months of 1945 small stores began to open in the Motomachi area. Some of the city’s famous restaurants can trace their roots to the black market. The black market economy was a symbol of post-war society.

These images are courtesy of the Tokushima Newspaper Company.

Tokushima Station's Black Market.
Tokushima Barracks.

Once the war ended a black market was established in simple barracks (barakkusu), simple structures made from whatever materials were available.

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Tokushima Station’s Black Market.

By about 1948 there were around seventy stalls. People craving something sweet would gather here to buy mitsumame (a traditional dessert) and confectionery.

Tokushima Station
In front of Tokushima Station during the post-war years.

Shoe shiners line the streets in front of popular stores. The hardship of the post-war years is shown in the torn awnings and parasols. A poster advertises “Fuji ni tatsu kage”, a film starring Ichikawa Utaemon.

Reconstructing the streets of Tomida.
Reconstructing the streets of Tomida.

We can see signs of the city gradually recovering from as early as 1947. Wartime destruction provided the opportunity to redistribute land across the city.  A new city began to emerge.

Creating emergency housing.
Creating emergency housing.

People rose quickly to rebuild the city from scratch. “Barrack” style housing was built across the ruined city to protect people from the elements. It was very difficult to acquire the materials needed.

This electric bus could carry thirty-three people and travel up to 25kmph. It ran between 1948 and 1951.
This electric bus could carry thirty-three people and travel up to 25kmph. It ran between 1948 and 1951.
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A trailer bus, 1948.
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Nishisenba banking district. The Shoko Chukin Bank can be seen on the right-hand side with Awa Commercial Bank (now Awa Bank Ltd.) opposite.
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Tokushima Station, immediately after the war (1946).

Tokushima Station was burnt down in the disaster of July 1945. A temporary station was completed in February 1946. This building lasted until the renovation in 1950. Black market stalls lined the front of the station and hungry people gathered there.

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Candy sellers congregated in front of Tokushima Station, their sweets were very popular amongst elementary and junior high school students. These students were on a trip to the old City Meeting Hall.

Going to the Black Market.
Going to the Black Market.

Stalls sold mushipan (steamed buns), white riceballs and dried sardines in front of Tokushima Station immediately after the war. Hungry people flocked there in search of food.

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Public trishaw service, around 1947.

Trishaws waiting for customers by the stalls in front of Tokushima Station. They were an important mode of transport for the people of the time. Trishaws gradually disappeared as buses and taxis became more common.

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The trishaw era.

Here we can see the trishaws used during the post-war period. They were the main mode of public transport in Tokushima at this time. The wheels of these trishaws were covered in wet straw mats in summer. Drivers could not afford to get a puncture due to the rubber shortage.

After the war a temporary bridge was built over the Shinmachi using the remaining girders of the former structure.  It was fully restored in 1949. Roads were widened during the post-war land re-distribution and, as a result, Shinmachi Bridge was made into a “double bridge” in 1952.

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The construction of the temporary Shinmachi Bridge (1947).
The new bridge under construction.
The new bridge under construction.
The double Shinmachi Bridge, following the construction of the new second section.
The double Shinmachi Bridge, following the construction of the new second section.
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Awa Odori in front of City Hall after the war (1946).

The famous dance festival which had been suspended during the war years was restored in 1946. This is a scene from that time, in front of Tokushima City Hall. The presence of occupying soldiers watching is a symbol of the post-war era.

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A view of Shinmachi from the Shinmachi Bridge (1950). There was a playground on the roof of Marushin department store.
The forerunner of Tokushima Bank, Tokushima Mutual Bank, Tomidahama (1950).
The forerunner of Tokushima Bank, Tokushima Mutual Bank, Tomidahama (1950).
Full service is resumed at Tokushima Station (1960).
Full service is resumed at Tokushima Station (1960).

The bus turning circle at Tokushima Station was splendidly reborn. The station square now covered an area of more than 5,200 square metres. The station building (to the right of the picture) had been rebuilt in 1951. The white building on the left in Tokushima Industry and Tourism Hall, Uchimachi Elementary School is behind it (this area is where Sogo Department Store now stands).

Tenjin Matsuri.
Tenjin Matsuri.

A summer festival held annually on July 25th. It seems to have been a major event which heralded the start of summer vacation. Fireworks were launched from small boats in the river from 1954. Sadly, the Tenjin Matsuri is no longer a major annual event in the city.

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The era of “barrack” style buildings along the Shinmachi River in Minami-Uchimachi (1963).
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Shinmachi Water Cafe – “Coty” (1955).
“Coty” once served ice cream at the foot of the Shinmachi Bridge (1955).
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Crowds In Higashi-Shinmachi During Bon Odori (1959).
A scene from Higashi-Shinmachi (1959).
A scene from Higashi-Shinmachi (1959).

Children of the Showa period

These images are courtesy of the Tokushima Prefectural Archive.

Children playing with spinning tops (post-war).
Children playing with spinning tops (post-war).
Sumo in Tsuda, photgraph taken by Mr. Sawai Yoshimi (post-war).
Sumo in Tsuda, photgraph taken by Mr. Sawai Yoshimi (post-war).
Tokushima Children's Cultural Park (1955). With Tokushima Municipal Zoo adjacent, the Children's Culture Park that was opened in 1954 was a dream world for the children of Tokushima.
Tokushima Children’s Cultural Park (1955). With Tokushima Municipal Zoo adjacent, the Children’s Culture Park that was opened in 1954 was a dream world for the children of Tokushima.
A view of Shinmachi Bridge from Motomachi which shows that reconstruction is gradually taking place (1948).
A view of Shinmachi Bridge from Motomachi which shows that reconstruction is gradually taking place (1948).
Model airplane competition (1957)
Model airplane competition (1957).
Playing with spinning tops in Tsuda, photgraph taken by Mr. Sawai Yoshimi (post-war).
Playing with spinning tops in Tsuda, photgraph taken by Mr. Sawai Yoshimi (post-war).
A girl babysitting in Tsuda, photograph taken by Mr. Sawai Yoshimori (post-war).
A girl babysitting in Tsuda, photograph taken by Mr. Sawai Yoshimori (post-war).
A boy babysitting in Tsuda, photograph taken by Mr. Sakai Yoshimori.
A boy babysitting in Tsuda, photograph taken by Mr. Sawai Yoshimori.
A delivery boy in Tsuda, photograph by Mr. Sawai Yoshimori.
A delivery boy in Tsuda, photograph by Mr. Sawai Yoshimori.
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Nursery school children hula hooping (1955).
Okinosu seaside school (1955)
Okinosu seaside school (1955).

Shinmachi Bridge through the years

These images are courtesy of the Tokushima Prefectural Archive.

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The Shinmachi Bridge during the Edo period.

The Shinmachi Bridge was an important gateway from the downtown (Shinmachi area) to the old samurai residences of Terajima and the castle. Until the Kachidoki Bridge was built and the national highways had their base point placed nearby Route 21 and Route 22 had their zero mile marks placed on the west side of the east end of this bridge. A modern iron bridge was completed in May 1880, it was 53 metres in length and 7 metres wide. It was burnt down in the air raid of July 1945 and a temporary bridge was constructed using the surviving girders. A second section was built to cope with increased traffic and the “double bridge” was completed in 1952. The appearance of the Shinmachi Bridge has changed so much over the years.

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The girders that remained after the air raid were used to make a temporary wooden bridge (1947).
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Tourists pass over the new double bridge on municipal buses (1957).
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The Tokushima cityscape was transformed from the pre-war to the post-war period.

Scenes from Tokushima city centre in 1946

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Citizens walking along the old Shinmachi Bridge (29 January 1946).
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The Jeep was a symbol of the Occupation forces (1946).
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Awa Odori staged for the first time after the war (1946).
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Bon Odori at Kuramoto Market shortly after the war (1946).
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Awa Odori staged for the first time after the war (1946).

Scenes from Tokushima city centre in 1949

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Looking towards Tenjin Shrine from Shinmachi Bridge (13 August 1946).
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The Motomachi area viewed from  the station (9 July 1949).
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The view from the station in the direction of Shinmachi (9 July 1949).
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A trailer bus that ran from Tokushima Station (1949).
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The view from what is now Daiku-machi towards Shinmachi Bridge (13 August 1949).
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A view of Bizan from Shinmachibashi 1-chome (13 August 1945).
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The new Shinmachi Bridge under construction (1949).

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The opening of Shinmachi Bridge [the former bridge] (1 January 1949).
Scenes from Tokushima city centre in 1950

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Shinmachibashi Kitazume (1950).
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A view of Shiroyama from Shinmachibashi (1950).
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Marushin Department Store (1 January 1950).
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Tokushima Station Square: A view of Tokushima Station Square from the diagonal road (9 May 1950).
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Tokushima Station Square: A view of Tokushima Station Square from the diagonal road (9 May 1950).
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A view of Shinmachi from Shinmachi Bridge (25 January 1950).
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A view of Shinmachi from Shinmachi Bridge (25 January 1950).

Scenes from Tokushima city centre from 1952 to 1955

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The view of Higashi-Senba from Shinmachibashi Kitazuma (1950).
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A view of Mt. Bizan from Shinmachibashi (1952).
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Green space by the banks of the Shinmachi River (1952).
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Transplantation of Washington palms (June 1953).
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Shikoku Broadcasting’s Shinmachibashi office (1953).
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A commemorative photograph taken in front of a trailer bus to mark the crossing of the new bridge (November 1955).

Scenes from Tokushima city centre from 1956 to 1957

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A news flash about votes being counted in the southern part of Shinmachi (June 1956).
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A female engineer (1957).
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Taxis in front of Tokushima Station (1957).
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Mt. Bizan cherry blossom viewing bus (1957).
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Buses in front of Tokushima City Hall (1957).
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Shinmachi Bridge (1957).
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Water-skiing on the Shinmachi River (1957).
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Tokubus New Year preparations (1957).

Scenes from Tokushima city centre from 1958 to 1959

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Station square in its present form (13 June 1959).
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From Shinmachi Bridge to the station (13 June 1959).
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Station square in its present form (13 June 1959).
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Station square in its present form (13 June 1959).
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Shinmachi River Bank Park and Shinmachibashi (1959).
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The view from Tenjin Shrine (1959).
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Shinmachi River Bank Park (1959).
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Shinmachi River Bank Park Shinmachi Bridge (1959).
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The view from Marushin Department Store (1959).
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Station square in its present form (13 June 1959).
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Shikoku Broadcasting viewed from Shinmachi Bridge (5 April 1958).

Scenes from Tokushima city centre from 1960 to 1961

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The Shinmachi area viewed from the “driveway” (February 1960).
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The new and old Shinmachi bridges after completion (1960).

Nittō Airlines was founded as the Japan Tourism Flight Association on 2nd April 1952 and renamed Nittō Airlines co. ltd. on 1 March 1959. The airline operated regular passenger flights across Japan using seaplanes. The company had its headquarters in Kita-ku, Osaka and the first service ran between Osaka International Airport and Shirahama in Wakayama Prefecture on 1st January 1955. The company offered scenic flights in the direction of Nanki and Setouchi. From 1960 the range of destinations was increased to include regular flights to Tokushima, Kochi, Nanki-Shirahama, Kushimoto, Shima (Mie Prefecture) and Niihama (Ehime Prefecture). There were also irregular flights to places such as Beppu. The good thing about using seaplanes was that the destinations did not have to have an airport because the planes could simply take-off and land on water.

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Nittō Airlines airplane (1961).
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Nittō Airlines airplane named “Swallow” (1961).
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Nittō Airlines airplane (1961).

The original Japanese language version of this archive can be found here:
http://shinmachigawa.com/tarda_photo.html

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