Saturday, June 20, 2009

Need Help

This sign is in the old street behind my house. I was told there's an electric tower inside the room, which is odd, as we see the room is not too tall to keep a tower. Well, a short tower perhaps?

The other two signs are found on sake houses' wall.

Now I'm open to suggestion about these signs. Anyone can break the codes? :).
Wish you a golden weekend.
Let's see what Gary has found:
The bottom one is easy. It’s like this.

The middle one is a notice about some kind of memorial service at a temple, probably 教善寺 which looks like it is just north of Saijo Station (Kyouzenji?). The memorial service was on April 29 at 1:30 P.M.

The top one is all about fire alarm bells. That might be a fire-watch tower that is illustrated. What blows my mind is how old those signs are. They probably date from WWII or before because after the war horizontal rows of kanji were written from left to right, but before the war kanji were written from right to left, like vertical writing in Japan today. We can see this at the top right of the left sign with this line: 号信災火 which we write this way these days 火災信号。Rarely, I could see old shop signs written from right to left in Tokyo.

I’m guessing that the circles with lines connecting some of them are patterns of hitting the bell depending on what the fire watch people want to communicate, like whether the fire is close, within the local ward, or widespread. The sign on the left has some siren patterns.

There is an example of a watchtower here. And here is one in Kawagoe, near Tokyo. Here is one in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles.

Traditionally towns and cities in Japan were filled with wooden buildings, so fire was a major hazard.
Yuri San: Tomu wa kanji o hyaku gurai shitte imasu (Tom knows about a hundred kanji)
Hiro San: Watashi wa niju gurai desu, anata wa? (I know about twenty kanji, what about you?)

6 comments:

Tall Gary said...

More fascinating (and challenging!) signs.

The bottom one is easy. It’s like this.

The middle one is a notice about some kind of memorial service at a temple, probably 教善寺 which looks like it is just north of Saijo Station (Kyouzenji?). The memorial service was on April 29 at 1:30 P.M.

The top one is all about fire alarm bells. That might be a fire-watch tower that is illustrated. What blows my mind is how old those signs are. They probably date from WWII or before because after the war horizontal rows of kanji were written from left to right, but before the war kanji were written from right to left, like vertical writing in Japan today. We can see this at the top right of the left sign with this line: 号信災火 which we write this way these days 火災信号。Rarely, I could see old shop signs written from right to left in Tokyo.

I’m guessing that the circles with lines connecting some of them are patterns of hitting the bell depending on what the fire watch people want to communicate, like whether the fire is close, within the local ward, or widespread. The sign on the left has some siren patterns.

There is an example of a watchtower here. And here is one in Kawagoe, near Tokyo. Here is one in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles.

Traditionally towns and cities in Japan were filled with wooden buildings, so fire was a major hazard.

Christopher Raun Leth said...

I have to admit that you could have told me that it was a sign for the elevator to the moon, as my Japanese is none-existing:-) But great photos:)

henny said...

@ Christopher, hehe, it's a "no taking pictures here!" sign. Would you believe it?

@ Gary, have you ever lived in Saijo? MOS burger, local signs, mmm, what else? :).
I owe you big big time. Another favor please, can I put your note in my post?
For the second photo, that sign is on a wall right across from a temple, so that's the most likely like you informed us.

Tall Gary said...

I would be honored, Henny. Feel free to use my note as you wish.

I won’t feel bad when a native Japanese speaker corrects me and informs me that I’m entirely wrong. Ha ha.

henny said...

Gary, thanks, no worry about that. Just don't tell Kaori, ok? :).

JM said...

I really like the 1st old door.