Wonderful art from a 1937 train ride in Japan

Back in December 2011, I posted a batch of photos taken by UH Professor Carey D. Miller during a 1937, pre-WWII trip to Japan.

Miller, the internationally-known nutritionist who established the Home Economics Department at the University of Hawaii, traveled to Japan to meet with colleagues and observe farming and cooking techniques.

[text]Now I’ve found some other mementos from that trip while sorting my mother’s papers after her death at the end of January. These seem to be a series of ads about dining options on the Mikado Dining Car while traveling by train through Japan.

These are small, no more than 35, printed on fragile paper with wonderful art work.

I’ll have to await comments from readers who can translate from the Japanese for a more accurate assessment of what these represent.

–> See the collection of 1937 Japan train memorabilia.

4 responses to “Wonderful art from a 1937 train ride in Japan

  1. Ian,

    Wonderful stuff.  

    Hokkaido locations identified, including my old neighborhood, Makomanai in Sapporo. Old, but not archaic, writing.  Of course, lovely design.

    Mark Levin
    UH Law faculty

  2. Lovely, your readers are grateful that your mother was a saver!

  3. Those are pretty cool… They all look like notes about the dining car (dinner can be had now… stuff like that…). One appears to be a full menu… I’ll try and do some translations later.

  4. Okay, here’s what I deciphered:

    Ala Carte From Now on Mikado Dining Car
    Thank you for your patronage.
    We are now serving meals (teishoku) and ala carte items (pippin ryouri).
    We are awaiting you in the dining car.
    Mikado Japanese Dining. (The dining car is located in the center of the train).
    – the writing at the bottom appears to refer to the ranch in the drawing, but I can’t make out the specifics

    Tea.. Coffee
    Coffee • Tea
    Is now served
    The dining car is now open
    Mikado Restaurant

    Announcing (go annai)
    Thank you for your patronage (this phrase is often used in commercial settings almost as a greeting). We are now serving beer and cider (cider, I suspect, being something more along the lines of a soft drink similar to 7-Up) cold as ice.
    Please make your way to the restaurant (this is a pretty loose translation… there are some honorifics that I’m not sure of).

    4. Thank you for waiting.
    We are now open (literally- ‘there are seats available’)
    Please come to the dining car (lit.- ‘we are waiting for you to use the restaurant’)
    Mikado Japanese Dining
    (the dining car is located in the center of the train)
    – again, the writing at the bottom refers to the scene in the drawing, which I can’t read

    Announcing (lit. “information”)
    Good Morning
    Breakfast is now ready
    Japanese food-
    Miso soup, etc (sorry, can’t make that stuff out) – 40 sen (sen being a monetary denomination at the time)
    Western food –
    Ham and eggs, toast, coffee or tea – 50 sen
    We are awaiting you in the dining room
    Japanese Dining Mikado

    Meals are now available
    We are awaiting everyone’s arrival
    Mikado Japanese Dining
    (the dining car is located at the center of the train)
    – the characters at lower right again refer to the scene in the background – some mountain?

    * this was scanned sideways
    Sashimi – 35 sen
    ? – 20 sen
    Miso Soup – 10 sen
    ? – 20 sen
    Rice – 10 sen
    ? – 5 sen
    Oyako don – 40 sen
    Soup – 35 sen
    Fried Fish – 30 sen
    Omelette – 20 sen
    Ham and Eggs – 35 sen
    Ham Salad – 35 sen
    Chicken Cutlet – 45 sen
    Beef Steak – 50 sen
    Beef Cutlet – 40 sen
    Ko-ru ? beef – 40 sen
    Pork Cutlet – 30 sen
    Curry Rice – 30 sen
    Chicken Rice – 45 sen
    Sandwich – 40 sen
    Asparagus – 30 sen
    Cheese – 25 sen
    Coffee or tea – 10 sen
    Bread and Butter – 10 sen
    Sweets – 10 sen
    (then something about fruit)

    º We also sell Japanese and Western liquor (drinks), ?, cigarettes, postage stamps, (and some other stuff I can’t read)
    º (this is also beyond my translation pay scale…)
    º The dining car is located in the center of the train

    Meals (snacks?) are now available
    We are awaiting your arrival
    Japanese Dining Mikado
    (50 sen per person)

    * I’ll translate this in order of the section over the arrow, then beneath
    We have a variety of food and drink available in the dining car located at the center of the train. Please stop by (lit; we are waiting for you to arrive)
    Milk Caramel
    Milk Chocolate
    (we also have cigarettes and postage stamps)
    Prices vary
    * at the bottom is the train line which I can’t read…

    Hope that helps…

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