|Japanese sailors at Taronga Zoo, 1924
Photo courtesy of Australian National Maritime Museum
In the latter part of the 19th Century and the early 20th Century, Japanese art and culture had a widespread influence on Western art, interior design, music, fashion and textiles.
Many Australians, like others in Europe and elsewhere, were fascinated by things Japanese. Japanese Navy training squadrons twice entered Sydney Harbour, in 1903 and 1906, to enthusiastic receptions. Other visits occurred in the 1920s, see image above.
During the 1906 visit, Katoomba Municipal Council extended a formal invitation to the officers and men of the fleet to visit the Blue Mountains, and a number of new streets were named in their honour, one other street was given a Japanese name in 1922.
However following the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1942, the Japanese names were changed as follows.
Japanese name 1906 New Name 1942
Ito Pde, Leura Britain St
Iwasaki Pde, Leura Franklin St
Kamimura Lane, Leura (1922) Victory Lane
Kamimura Pde, Leura Winston St
Togo Ave, Hazelbrook Cunningham St
Togo Pde, Leura Churchill St
Tokio Rd, Leura Roosevelt St
Curtin St, Leura, previously an un-named lane, was named in 1942 after Australia’s wartime Prime Minister John Joseph Curtin (1885-1945)
John Merriman, Local Studies Librarian
* Street Whys, the Origins of Blue Mountains City Street Names. Christopher J Woods, 1997.
* Minute Books, Katoomba Municipal Council, 1906, 1922,