December 25, 2013
0914 CHINA (Hong Kong) - A man with a rickshaw
The rickshaw began as a two or three-wheeled passenger cart, called a pulled rickshaw, generally pulled by one man with one passenger, and it is believed to have been invented in Japan in the 1869, after the lifting of the ban on wheeled vehicles from the Tokugawa period (1603-1868). The first known use of the term was in 1887, and originates from the Japanese word jinrikisha (jin = human, riki = power or force, sha = vehicle). Pulled rickshaws created a popular form of transportation, and a source of employment, within Asian cities in the 19th century, but their popularity declined when cars, trains and other forms of transportation became widely available.
In China, the rickshaw was first seen in 1873, and within a year, there were 10,000 rickshaws in operation. It is estimated that in the first part of the 20th century one out of six males in the city between the ages of 16 and 50 was a puller. Most manual rickshaws, a symbol of oppression of the working class, were eliminated in China after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. In Hong Kong rickshaws were first imported from Japan in 1880. No new licenses for rickshaws have been issued since 1975, and only a few old men still bear a license. Only one of them still offer rickshaw rides on The Peak, mainly for tourists.
About the stamps
The stamp depictind Scarlet minivet (50c) belongs to a set of birds about which I wrote here.The other stamp is one of the series of two, about which I wrote here.
Pulled rickshaw - Wikipedia
Sender: Pam Pang (direct swap)
Sent from Hong Kong on 18.11.2013
Photo: Keith Macgregor / 2005