Fire Brigade's Painting


This is a painting with a fire brigade illustrated. This was dedicated to a shrine, in order to pray for their safety. The fire-extinguishing methods of those days were the way of destroying surrounding houses. Most of them were scaffolding men. Since they had full knowledge of house structures, they were able to knock them down quickly. In this painting, two persons at the top have ladders for accessing rooftops. And many members had a fire hook called "TOBI". The metaled nail attached at the tip of this tool helped expedite a house deconstruction.
The octopus-looking item in the middle is a banner called "MATOI". It was shaken on the roof of the house where they were working. This was the symbol of the group, and in order to show off their warriors to surrounding people. There were 48 of such groups by the middle of the Edo era.