On “Demae”, Or When Bicycles Dominated Japanese Noodle Delivery

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(via) Feudal Japan had food delivery dialled in pretty sweet. The system they had was called demae (“to go in front of”); deliverymen would stack boxes of bowls containing dipping soba noodles) on their shoulders, dropping them off at designated points along a preordained route. When the country started manufacturing bicycles in the 1890s, the practice became quite the balancing act indeed, as you can see from these incredible photos. It also became less the private reserve of wealthy lords. As the country modernized, demae went mainstream, feeding thousands of students and office workers across the country every day.

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