r....is for

Following on again with Toni's A-Z, "a...is for" meme, today's letter is R

r....is for


(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

"The rickshaw began as a 2-wheeled passenger cart, called a pulled rickshaw, generally pulled by one man with one passenger. The first known use of the term was in 1887."

"Now there are also the cycle rickshaws, also called pedicabs, auto rickshaws and solar rickshaws."

Cycle Rickshaws

"Pulled rickshaws created a popular form of transportation, and a source of employment, within Asian cities in the 19th century."

Clearly not the 19th century, note the car...

"Their popularity declined as cars, trains and other forms of transportation became widely available.

Auto rickshaws are becoming more popular in some cities in the 21st century as an alternative to taxis because of their low cost."

Auto Rickshaws

"Though the origins of the rickshaw are not entirely clear, they seem to be Japanese, and of Tokyo specifically. The most widely accepted theory offers the name of three inventors, and gives 1869 as the date of invention."

"The vehicle had a wooden carriage that rode on "superior Western wheels" and was a dramatic improvement over earlier modes of transportation."

Many rickshaws these days are quite fancifully decorated. This one reminds me of a Gypsy caravan.

"The Powerhouse Museum has had a rickshaw in their collection for 120 years. It was made about 1880 and is described as:

    A rickshaw, or Jinrikisha, is a light, two-wheeled cart consisting of a doorless, chairlike body, mounted on springs with a collapsible hood and two shafts. Finished in black lacquer-ware over timber, it was drawn by a single rickshaw runner."

"It became an inexpensive, popular mode of transportation across Asia. 
Peasants who migrated to large Asian cities often worked first as a rickshaw runner."

A more modern styling with seats wide enough for two.

These decorated rickshaws may have been part of a parade.....maybe wedding guests going to a reception.....maybe just tourists.

I think it would be fun to ride in one of these rickshaws, perhaps as part of a city tour if I were to visit one of the Asian countries.

R....is for rickshaw.



  1. What are the little round green thingies on top of the cycle rickshaws that look like victrola trumpets?

  2. I 've learnt a lot about rickshaws today.

  3. I've been in a few in different countries. One pulled by a man in heavy Saigon traffic was a bit hairy. I saw similar to the highly decorated one in Malacca, Malaysia.

  4. I travelled by cycle rickshaw in Nepal. And goodness he made me feel fat, and heavy - which could have been a way of getting additional pay. It was deserved though.

  5. Delores; I have no idea, maybe they are speakers of some kind, or fresh air vents, to allow smoke to escape if the occupant is smoking?

    Merlesworld; me too. The best part is they don't pollute the earth, but the worst part is they don't have the speed of today's cars. Maybe that's a good thing, far less damage to life and limb...

    Andrew; I'd like to try riding in one, but not through heavy traffic. Nor a storm either.

    Elephant's Child; They probably do earn more if they put on a show of exertion. I bet they only do it for tourists though.

  6. wow, great post and fablis photos.

  7. I didn't now there so many different rickshaws. I've never ridden in one. I always thought it would feel demeaning to be pulled around by a human.

  8. That is a very special post and I've learnt so much more than I knew about rickshaws....thank you.
    I too wondered about the green thingies and they could well be vents perhaps or loud speakers if they have a horn maybe???
    They are certainly a class symbol though aren't they?

  9. The Wicked Writer; thank you. I was going to do ribs, but looking at recipes for them made me too hungry.

    Manzanita; I'd like a short ride, just for the experience.

    Mimsie; I've known about the cycle rickshaws but didn't know the motorised ones were also called rickshaws. I couldn't find images of the solar powered ones either.

  10. I was always a bit torn about the rickshaws - admittedly I've never been on one, but I worried about being seen as someone 'lording it' over another human being....? Or should it be that my custom helped them make a living....?

  11. Kath Lockett; I'd be thinking that my small payment would help to feed a family. I don't think tourists are seen as "lording it over" types.


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