When did wheel-mounted water-carrying fire-fighting machines first appear in Japan?

I am curious about the date, and maybe some history about whether it was invented or imported, and by whom if information is available.

1 Answer 1


This is probably the Ichihara pump, from late 19th century Japan - their first four-wheeled horse drawn engine was built in 1899. There is very little english language information on the company online.

Japan has a long and fascinating tradition of firefighting, the hikeshi, going back centuries. They used hollow bamboo ladders and portable hand-pumps to put water onto the fire, but really, their job was to rescue people and valuables, organize bucket brigades and tear down neighboring structures to keep the fire from spreading. The concept of wheeled fire-engines probably came with the Meiji Restoration.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.