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160903-0025 - First Census in Japan


Outside taisho 1920s Okada Seikodo Studio

Memorial card for Japan’s first nationwide population census, taken on October 1, 1920 (Taisho 9).

The census revealed that the country had a population of 55.4 million. More than half of the population worked in primary industries.

The most populated prefectures were Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido, Hyogo and Fukuoka.

The card features an illustration of Amaterasu Omikami. The sun goddess is one of the principal Shinto deities in Japanese mythology. The emperors supposedly descend from her.

The roosters, which crow as the sun rises, are associated with the deities who lured Amaterasu out of the cave where she had been hiding.

In Shintoism, chickens are considered to be the divine messengers of Amaterasu. At Ise Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu, free-range chickens roam the grounds.

Japanese text: 第一回国勢調査記念 大正九年十月一日

Kjeld Duits Collection
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Amaterasu, Kojiki, Okada Seikodo Studio, beliefs, census, deities, demographics, government, mythology, population, religions, shintoism
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