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Yamanote Line

January 19, 2017 10:18 pm | Jellyfish Education Consultancy

Yamanote Line

You’ve probably heard a lot of story about Japan from their history to myths and legends which piqued your interest to it.

Well, just when you thought you’ve heard it all, Japan still has a lot of story left for you to know.

The Japanese Railway system has a high reputation for its quality and punctuality and it’s something that became a part of the Japanese scene that we seem to not put much interest to. It’s just a mode of transportation, right? There is nothing to know aside from the fact that one railway in particular is almost like a yin-yang symbol when seen in an aerial view.

The Yamanote Line is a railway loop and one of the most important lines in Tokyo, connecting most major stations and urban centers in Japan.  The yin-yang similarity of the railway loop line became symbolic down to the history of its creation. The top part of the loop between Ikebukuro and Tabata opened on 1903, and both lines were merged to become the Yamanote Line on 1909. The Yamanote Line became complete on 1956 when it was given its own set of tracks along the eastern side of the loop between Shinagawa and Tabata. During the Edo period, Yamanote was the higher caste where people with higher position lived while Shitimachi was the lower caste where the working class lives. The loop is a half of Yamanote and half of Shitamachi and one could say that it is a yin-yang symbol. Even though the distinction became geographically blurred and almost unrecognizable it still holds the history of Japan’s meaning to class boundary. The yin-yang symbol describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.

Isn’t it amazing how a railway system can hold so much meaning to ones country? It is definitely another story to appreciate behind the mundane things in Japan and something to encourage us to learn more about the country, its culture and history. This little part of history manifest that Japan has a lot more to offer than what we actually see and have heard about.