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1950's Japan 2009/3/5 03:23
I'm doing research on 1950's Japan but am stuggling. Does anyone know what was popular at the time other than the obvious things like Godzilla?
I'm talking in terms of:
- Popular Culture
- Childrens shows
- Childrens Games
- Past Times
(More Specifically child orientated)

Thanks in advance for your help : )
by thomasjones89  

golden age 2009/3/5 12:50
If you check following keywords, you will get some idea.
Wakanohana(sumo wrestler)
Nagashima Shigeo(baseball player)
Oh Sadaharu(do)


childrens' magazine or comics
by 1950 born (guest) rate this post as useful

Menko and Ramune 2009/3/5 14:02

What ever happened to Menko and Ramune?

Nobody seems to know about Menko anymore. The art of using the left foot to make the menko turn over by the back wind1 WOW... what a thrill. I miss those days.

by chadpeterson rate this post as useful

Menko 2009/3/5 14:24
Does anybody know where I can get MENKO?


by chadpeterson rate this post as useful

earliest 60s.. 2009/3/5 14:26
Sorry, my first Japanese awareness goes well back into 1960s, but not 50s, even though I have seen 1950s Japanese cars.
Earliest recalled images of things Japanese?

The "Ninja Butai Gekko" TV show, they should rerun it.
I guess what was then Japanese "Manga"-Kimba the white lion, Space Ace, Prince Planet, Astro Boy..Gigantor...perhaps "Johnny Pace" was also a Japanese animated was that style?
Crown, Otaki and Nitto brand plastic model kits...mostly dreadful quality but cute and interesting...
The Japanese-set James Bond movie You Only Live Twice, the two cute girls in it (especially the one who died,Blowfish-venom, a very Japanese way to go)the toyota 2000 car in it.

In fact classic Japanese cars such as Rt40 Corona, MS45 Crown,Toyota 700 , Toyota Tiara and Isuzu Bellett, Honda S500 sportscar....all of those were exciting new cars then....well, not the Tiara, it was a few years old already.
by Patrick (guest) rate this post as useful

Tetsuwan Atomu 2009/3/5 14:50
As a kid I watched on B&W TV and at Movie theatres Tetsuwan Atomu animation movies. They were great.

Also Kamen Rider.

Here's website to Atomu

by chadpeterson rate this post as useful

During my sleep 2009/3/6 00:44

While I was trying to sleep last night, I was trying to remember my days in the 50's in Japan.

Sazae-san came into my mind. This was really popular among both kids and adults.

Here's the description:

Misora Hibari, singer and actress, probably was the most popular figure in the 50's both among adults and teenagers.

Here's the info:

In summary, here are the things I remember of the 1950's in Japan.

1. Menko
2. Tetsuwan Atomu
3. Ramune (carbonated drink)
4. Sazae-san
5. Misora Hibari

I hope these will help your research. Maybe if I take a nap today, I might come up with more.

by chadpeterson rate this post as useful

yey 2009/3/6 05:11
These are really helpful. I'm very grateful. Some of these I had heard of but was not wholey aware of what era they were from and many are totally new to me, so thankyou! I shall start reading up : )
by thomasjones89 rate this post as useful

also... 2009/3/6 05:26
what was the everyday fashion like of the time? Would it be at all similar to Western Culture? Any pictures would be great.
by thomasjones89 rate this post as useful

More from the 50's Japan 2009/3/6 09:20

I took a nap. I came up with more nostalgia...

1. Kamishibai: a form of storytelling to children like a puppet show. It disappear as TV came into existence in Japan.

Check this site:

2. Kotatsu: table with warmer inside; it exists today but it's electric. It used to be charcoal.

3. Hibachi: not the BBQ type. They were beautifully crafted circular vase with ashes and charcoal to heat the house.

4. Yaki Imo: means baked potatos but in the 50's, they came in a bicycle drawn carriage with stove and sweet smelling potatoes, ready to eat. We used to go outside and buy them hot!

5. Dobu: sewage system was still very primitive and these were narrow ditches along the small alleys of Japan's cities. They were called dobu. Really smelled bad and we kids had to be really careful not to fall into them. I can't find anything on Google or Wikipedia.

6. Hino Yojin: People from the fire department would come by in the late evening with lanterns (chochin) and shout from the streets telling residents to be careful with fire and turn off all hibachi, kotatsu and open fire before going to bed. This also disappears with sophisticated phone system. Nothing on Google or Wikipedia either.

7. Unisex Furo (bath). In the 50's, most onsen (hot spring) places still had uni-sex baths. I remember going with my parents to the large bath with other men and women and children. I thought nothing of it.

I also want to recommend two great movies in English based on James Michener's novels. They are "Sayonara" staring Marlon Brando and "Bridge to Toko-Ri" staring William Holden and Grace Kelly. The movies are about Japan in the 50's and you can see the fashion, customs, landscapes, buildings and history.

I'll take more naps or go to sleep to see if I can come up with more.

by chadpeterson rate this post as useful

pictures 2009/3/6 10:36
I found pictures taken in 1950's near Yokohama.
by 1950 born (guest) rate this post as useful

kamishibai 2009/3/6 10:50
You can find a photo of Kamishibai taken near Haneda in July 1958 (1958年7月 ) in the above website.

by 1950 born (guest) rate this post as useful

Thanks 1950 born 2009/3/6 11:13
1950 born-san,

I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for the website. I never thought I would ever see these kinds of pictures again in my life. I was only 10 years old then!

Thanks again.


by chadpeterson rate this post as useful

Bridges toko Ri 2009/3/6 12:40
"the Bridges At Toko-Ri"

William Holden /Mickey Rooney

Yes, much of it is filmed in Japan,set in 1950-1953 period, even though the bridges being referred to are of course in Korea or North Korea.
by Patrick (guest) rate this post as useful

good pictures taken in Niigata 2009/3/6 13:14
by 1950 born (guest) rate this post as useful

another website 2009/3/6 17:30
Here is a very interesting website of Shinagawa-ku ( or Shinagawa ward), Tokyo.

1955 id6074-6 summer school at Hakone
1956 6087 enjoy hopping
1957 6121,6123 play
1957 6120 at school
1958 88 typhoon assault
1959 6164 at school
1959 98 (present)Empress Michiko, previous day of her wedding
by 1950 born (guest) rate this post as useful

thankyou 2009/3/7 02:35
the pictures are lovely! They are very helpful too to get a clear indication of 1950's life.
Thanks again Chad, your naps are very helpful haha : D
I will also be sure to check out those films.
by thomasjones89 rate this post as useful

1950's comics 2009/3/8 14:39
Did you check famous comic writers like

Osamu Tezuka
Shoutaro Ishinomori
Fujiko Fujio(Two men)

They were all live in same apartment called Tokiwa-sou(トキワ荘)
by misstoko rate this post as useful

Shin-Yokohama "Raumen Museum"! 2009/3/10 19:05
I'm not sure if this is too late or is of any help --but recently I visited a Ramen museum that recreated Showa 33 or 1958. This was the year instant Ramen noodles were invented.

The site has some pics and information. But, if you google "Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum" (yes, spelled "Raumen") a lot of pictures and information will come up from visitors.

Everything was recreated down to the dress and candy you could buy. It was really cool.

Good luck :D
by Elizabeth (guest) rate this post as useful

50s pop culture 2009/10/3 01:11
There was a fad called "Dakko-chan" (dark baby or child). It was a kind of black inflated plastic "doll" that was designed to represent a black baby and cling around the arm of the owner. Today it would be considered insulting to the black race because of its exaggerated features. As I recall, it had eyes that seemed to wink when the body of it was tilted, leading it to also be called a "Winky Doll".
by John (guest) rate this post as useful

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