The neighborhood police box dates in Japan since long before the koban were established as we know them today, at the beginning of the Meiji Period.
In order to prevent crimes and thefts, during the Edo period the Tokugawa shogunate established in the districts inhabited by artisans and merchants small guard posts like the one photographed here, called jishinban.
In time, the responsibility for paying the guards was passed from the authorities to the citizens, and some of them choose to take shifts and stand guard themselves. It is known that in Edo, in 1850, there were 990 jishinban.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: