When Two Anime Converge Unexpectantly: Part 2 – Digging into the History Side

I’ve been curious about the buildings that were shown in the opening skit from episode 1 of Taishou Yakyuu Musume but I never felt like I’d know enough information to track them down. (Silly me, this is the internet we’re talking about.) Suguru’s comment about the identity of the building in question from yesterday’s post gave me the push to start investigating.

After looking at the information I could find on-line, I’ll have to respectfully disagree with Suguru, I don’t think it’s Tokyo Station for a couple reasons that I’ll get into later but I wanted to first mention that an additional reason is that I rewatched the song from Baseball Girls and Tokyo Station is mentioned later in the song so I think it’s a bit weird that they’d show Tokyo Station more then once. Here’s a Youtube video of the song in question to refresh everyone’s mind.

I first started by checking the wiki link for Tokyo Station and was surprised that the building is still there after almost a hundred years (WW2 air-raids almost destroyed it but when it was rebuilt, it wasn’t rebuilt exactly how it used to look). I looked at the old pictures on the wiki article but I couldn’t match that with the building in question so I googled Tokyo Station to see if I could find a picture from another angle that would better match when I stumbled upon a very interesting site that went a long why in answering my questions. It’s called The Meiji and Taisho Eras in Photographs and it’s exactly what I was looking for (and the best part is that it’s available in English). I’m going to post some of the photos from that site for comparison purposes but I do suggest people head on over to that site since there’s tons of other interesting stuff there.

Here’s their two pictures of Tokyo Station from the same time period (click to enlarge):

See how the architecture is similar but it just doesn’t look like the same building. I set that aside and started looking at the various other pictures because they were really interesting when I found this picture:

Inadvertently I hit the jackpot, those two building were definitely the same two from Taishou Yakyuu Musume and what cinched it was the title of the picture “Street-scene outside Babasaki-mon” and the song used the word Babasakimon when it was showing those two building. And it got even better, that site also had another picture under the title of Babasakimon:

Which matches to the scene from the song almost perfectly:

At this point I also realized that Babasakimon was referencing an actual street and I then found a map that showed the relationship of Babasaki street to Tokyo Station. It’s modern but I figured it’s probably accurate enough.

Notice how there’s a couple of blocks from the water on top and Tokyo Station and how the first picture of Babasaki-mon shows water across the street from the building in question. Therefore, I concluded that the building can’t be Tokyo Station though, heaven knows, I could still be wrong.

I continued to search the site for the identification of the building but came up empty-handed but I did discover the identity of the building on the left of the above screenshot from Taishou Yakyuu Musume. It’s the Meiji Life and Fire Insurance Company according to the title of this picture:

At this point I looked for some of the building mentioned in the song and found out about most of them. Here’s the Japanese Diet building. I don’t think it’s still standing since a newer building has taken it’s place but I couldn’t discover if war tore it down or just the need for a larger building.

And here’s the Imperial Theatre. The first Western style theater that opened in Japan, according to this site it was torn down in the 60’s and replaced with a more modern, if uglier, theater.

I notice that the pictures hosted on this site seem to have been the inspiration behind how J.C. Staff drew the buildings in question. Which made comparing the two easy but for the Metropolitan Police Department, they drew it in such a way I can’t tell if it’s the same building.

See, it’s hard to tell if they are the same but according the title of the photograph, they are the same.

Going back to my initial point from the last post about how the buildings where the same, seeing how there are at least two buildings that had similar architecture and how the roof copula from the building shown in Blue Literature don’t appear to exactly match the building from the photos and Taishou Yakyuu Musume – I’m no longer sure that they are same building but, at least, I discovered a bunch of interesting historical type stuff. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “When Two Anime Converge Unexpectantly: Part 2 – Digging into the History Side”

  1. Good research – looks like I made a bad assumption based on my memory of Tokyo Station and the architecture being similar. Watching Taishou Yakyuu it was hard not to think that not only would Koume’s hometown have been devastated by the Great Kanto Earthquake just a couple years before the anime was set, but then it would be flattened again by WWII. Koume’s generation wasn’t very lucky in having to live through both, but I’d like to think they and their families made it through the war and kept playing baseball as obaa-sans…

    Like

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