February 06, 13 | Takako Chiba
We recently introduced you to a variety of modern snow shovels available in Hokkaido, some for their convenience and some for their intended use.
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A job made much easier with the right shovel!
But shoveling snow is certainly not a new phenomenon; the native people of Hokkaido from long ago also had to take on the same daunting task. So, what do you think they used? The Historical Museum of Hokkaido provided us with the answer. Let’s take a look.
Here is one example. This bamboo shovel is much like what we call a Jonba today.
My grandparents had something like it. It seems to have been used similar to a pusher today, for light snow. Until fairly recently, I used to catch glimpses of them being used around Hokkaido. Have you ever seen one?
For heavy-duty shoveling, wooden shovels like the one pictured below would have been used.
▲ As it’s made of wood, it’s likely that carrying the shovel alone would be quite heavy.
There’s even a plow quite similar to the modern version we showed you before, used to move larger amounts of snow.
Made so differently from the light-weight plastic, textured shovels we use today, this bulky snow equipment could not have been easy to use.
We have a variety of really convenient and useful tools to use today, yet we still complain about how hard it is to shovel the snow. Especially this year, you can hear the locals crying “waya!” (a local word meaning ‘terrible’) as they shovel away. But when you think about it, the native Hokkaido people had no choice but to use such tough equipment and they likely complained much less than we do. That thought might make us appreciate the tools we have available today, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to make clearing the snow any easier!
※ Photography from publications of the Historical Museum of Hokkaido.
TEL : (011) 898 - 0456
FAX : (011) 898 - 2657
● Hours : 9:30～16:30(Admission until 16:00)
● Closed on Mondays and holidays
● Admission fees (Permanent Exhibition)
General admission : 500 Yen
High school and college students: 170 Yen
Elementary; school students are free
※ For more information, check out the museum homepage.
( Hokkaido Likers Writer - Chiba Takako )