Japanese bicycle culture

Hello. It's so warm that I can't think of it in December today.

On today's blog, if I read the blog of the past Kichijoji store, Matsuda wrote an interesting article, so I'll post it again. That said, it was full of characters and it was hard to read because of the line breaks, so I tried a little bit.

Please read it before going to bed because it is long.

-Below: Excerpt from the past Matsuda blog-

In Japan, where cheap mamachari has been commonplace, it seems that bicycles are recognized as cheap vehicles. In fact, in Japan, it is established as a commonly known as "Mamachari culture", and 80-90 % of the people are actually on Mamachari.

So I checked a little about the mamachari I was interested in!

The bicycle came into Japan in the late Edo period.

According to one theory, it is the first time that foreigners living in Japan (port town such as Yokohama) brought from their own country.

Bicycles became widespread in Japanese people from the Meiji era to the early Showa era.

Around Nihonbashi at that time

At that time, it was a luxury item, and the owner was seen with an envy. It is a man who is the Lord of the family who uses a bicycle. It seems that it was a tendency that women should not ride except for some (such as millionaires).

The date has passed and the late Showa 20s.

The state of Kabukicho at that time

The bicycle industry will be driven into severe situations due to new demand, decrease in exports, and recovery of motor bikes. The anecdote of Cub Honda, the founder of the automaker Honda, is famous.

The troubled bicycle manufacturer changed what was a male target until now. A new target for young women in their late teens and 20s who did not have a tendency to ride a bicycle.

At that time, the bicycle was mainly used as a luggage transport, so it was full of thick and stubborn structures, large beds and stands with a sense of weight. So, of course, the appearance, the weight, size, price range, new reviews, and embarked on selling bicycles for women.

And in 1955, a female targeted bicycle"Women's light car"Is born. Released by Yamaguchi BicycleSmart ladyIt seems that the model was dominated by the model.

The frame that is lighter, lowering the center of gravity of the body, and even a small woman or a woman wearing a skirt is still a mamachari that I often see in the city. And the most revolutionary basis was that the tip was attached to the basket that could be removed, so many women used it for shopping!

The price range was relatively low at 13,500 yen, while the previous bicycle was around the late 10,000 yen to 30,000 yen.

Even though it is a low price, the starting salary of college graduates at that time was 8000 yen. It is the same as a high -end thing.

However, the ease of riding, naming and advertising were specialized for women. And there are things that can be purchased for 1,000 yen a month with a loan, etc.A month50,000 units(!?) It also became a huge hit to sell.

A woman bicycle was sold by each manufacturer. Because of its ease of riding, it has been widely used, including men and the elderly.

Therefore, this year is the beginning of Mamachari!

From this year to the present, all kinds of improvements have been added, and now the number of electric assist Mamachari, which can run safely and safely even with luggage and children, has increased.

Looking at last year's annual bicycle production (reference to the bicycle association), the total number of units is 825,000 units. Among them, 56,000 units are added even if all MTB, BMX, sports bike, small diameter cars, etc. are added. It is an overwhelming number of 768,000 units with the remaining mamachari and assist car.

Regarding imports, there have been many roads and fixie bikes in recent years, but it has not yet reached Mamachari.

The total number of bicycles other than mamachari, including the fixie bike, is 2.63 million units, while the Mamachari is 3.1 million units. If you look at this number, you can see how much Japan is a mamachari country.

That's why I tried to roughly talk about the beginning of Mamachari. On the other hand, Japanese bicycle manufacturers have not been able to make a world -leading bicycle since the 1980s.

The reason for this is the spread of Mamachari, which I mentioned earlier, is involved ... I would like to speak twice in the future because the story is going to be a little longer!

As an aside, let's see the oldest bicycle (Miwa) made in Japan.

Please feel the history. The production age is in the 1860s and 70s! ! It's too great!

to be continued

Excerpts and partial edits from past Matsuda blogs

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