history of rickshaw

The word rickshaw originates from the Japanese word jinrikisha (人力車, 人  jin = human, 力  riki = power or force,  車  sha = vehicle), which literally means “human-powered vehicle“.

Rickshaws are commonly believed to have been invented in Japan in the 1860s, at the beginning of a rapid period of technical advancement, after the lifting of a ban on wheeled vehicles from the Tokugawa period (1603–1868). In the 19th century, rickshaw pulling became an inexpensive, popular mode of transportation across Asia.

Although, Claude Gillot (a French painter), best known as the master of Watteau and Lancret, painted “Les Deux Carrosses” in 1707 (image above), that is one of oldest illustrations about rickshaws.