Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Koban, or Police Box

The predecessor of the modern neighborhood police box, or koban, dates at least to the Edo era (1603-1867).Charles Dunn, in Everyday Life in Traditional Japan, writes "{The officer of the peace}took with him two or three assistants and called at the various watchpoints that were sited in the subdivisions, manned by a representative of the local residents' association."  The powerful local residents' association, which today maintains a strict watch on, among other things, the garbage collection stations in its jurisdiction, meting out severe chastisement on those who deposit their waste before the mandated time or, heaven forbid, on the wrong day, was likewise in days of old a formidable social institution.

1 comment:

echo said...

How weird, I just finished reading that same book a few days ago! :)