Sunday 30 September 2018

Japanese Airfields, Equipment & stuff #4

The first Japanese company to locally build bicycles was "Miyata" around 1890. Apart from "Miyata", various other bicycle manufacturers built thems for the Army including "Yamaguchi", "Okamoto", "Hidori" and "Zebra". During the Pacific War most of them were taken over by the Army and "Miyata" for example built landing gear and tires for the Zero.  
Bicycles were a very efficient and cheap way to move around the airfield and they were used extensively as you can see in the photos below.
I could find very very little documentation on the net about the various bicycle manufacturers and bicycle designs but in THIS link the guy has an original Yamaguchi IJA bicycle . Note the color.
It is one of the most common transport vehicles around Asia and is still widely used in Japan. The name comes from the English "rear car" and it was very popular around airfields to carry quantities of stuff or heavier equipment. It could be attached to the rear of a bicycle.
In the photo below the spokes are made of wood but bicycle tires were also very common. Check the photo of a JIETAI guy with a riyaka


Harold K said...

I don't do dioramas, so I won't be modeling any of these.
Still, this series is a fascinating look behind the scenes of the aircraft.
Thanks, very enjoyable.

D. Chouinard said...

Once again, very interesting! I can see where the riyaka is very useful, even today. I know the bicycle is still one of the best ways to get around in urban Japan.