Wednesday, 22 May 2013

One-eyed Goblin on the Keikyu Line

EMU Keikyu 800 series, "One-eyed goblin" arrives at Shinagawa Station
It is early summer in Tokyo. Summer is a time when all sorts of ghosts and Yokai are prevalent in Japanese films and plays. It has long been said in Japan that when one encounters a strange or peculiar phenomenon he/she suspects that Yokai must be manipulating this.

Many Japanese have long been familiar with Yokai. For instance, Hitotsume-kozo (One-eyed Goblin) is one of the famous Yokai. He takes on the appearance of a bald child with one eye in the center of its forehead. It is said that he suddenly appears and surprises people, but is harmless.

If you would like to imagine the appearance of Hitotsume-kozo, look at an EMU 800 series on the Keikyu Line (see the photos). The 800 series is the oldest model on the line. It was commissioned in 1978 to speed up local (all-stations) trains. A total of 27 sets (3-car and 6-car trains), 132 units have been manufactured by Tokyu Sharyo and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. You can see one large front light on the frontal face of the train. It is indeed a Hitotsume-kozo.

The specification of the 800 series is rather old. For example, the VVVF inverter control (variable-frequency drive) system is not adopted. The field chopper control system of one generation earlier is still used. But, this classic direct-current motor sound is nostalgic and attractive for me.

The EMU Keikyu 800 series, Hitsitsume-kozo, has a strong appeal for rail fans.

EMU Keikyu 800 series, "One-eyed goblin" arrives at Keikyu-Kamata Station