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160903-0039 - Bicycle Powered Taxi


Outside Showa 1950s Unknown

Operators of bicycle powered taxis, known as rintaku (輪タク), are taking a break, ca. 1950 (Showa 25).

Japan’s first postwar rintaku service was started around 1947 (Showa 22) in Tokyo. Within two years, many variations had become a common sight nationwide.

A trip cost 20 to 25 yen for the first kilometer. In 1950, the average annual salary in the private sector was 100,000 yen, so rintaku were kind of a luxury service.

By the late 1950s, almost all had vanished from Japan’s streets.

Rintaku were not a new invention. The Saitama-based company Fukuda Shokai (福田商会) got a patent for their trailer-type rintaku called Fukuda style Frid car (福田式フライドカー) in 1925 (Taisho 14).

Kjeld Duits Collection
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