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Time of the Tokugawa Period - Early Japanese clocks and the skills of the craftsmen who made them

Ashley Strachan, Great Britain

  • Life, Food, Technology
Time of the Tokugawa Period

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Whilst most parts of the world from the early 15th Century onward adopted the 24 equal-hour day, Tokugawa Japan retained a measurement of time that had been in existence from 2500BCE. Japanese metalworking craftsmen developed unique and ingenious clock mechanisms which are today termed wadokei. The display of time is based on temporal hours – six hours of day and six hours of night – varying in length throughout the year.

Discovering, researching and collecting these time pieces has opened up a wealth of interesting places to visit and people to meet on subsequent visits to Japan. An avenue of horology not found anywhere else in the world.