Behind the Story of “Blood and Tears” – Edo Period Travel
When we first meet O-Bun in Episode 1, she is complaining about having to walk so far…
To encourage trade and travel, the shogunate government built highways connecting several major cities. For example, the Tokaido Road connected Kyoto (hometown of the emperor) to Edo (hometown of the Shogun).
To inhibit these roads from being used for military actions against the government, the shogun also enacted numerous travel restrictions. Horse-/ox-/human drawn carts were limited to transporting non-military cargo–such as produce, construction materials, retail products, etc.
To get from place to place, people walked, rode in sedan chairs (kago), rode on horseback, and occasionally rode on carts already loaded with goods.
Later, in Episode 4, Usaburo, O-Hatsu and O-Bun hitch a ride on carts belonging to a traveling theatre troupe. Since each cart is loaded up with tents, stages, props and other materials needed to set up their show, and it only could accommodate 1-2 people.
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