Mizutani - catalogue 1956?

Mizutani - catalogue 1956? scan 1 main image

As I do not read Japanese, it is difficult for me to make too much sense of this, rather elegant, catalogue. Based on very little evidence I guess:

  • It dates from 1956. This is based solely on the appearance of dates up to, and including, 1955 on scan 1.
  • The straight handlebar model on scan 8 appears to use a Shimano 333 touring derailleur with a 46 T chainwheel, an 1/8" chain and a 16T, 20T, 24T three speed freewheel. This bike has a sporty look, with a sports saddle and large flange hubs.
  • The straight handlebar models on scan 18 (diamond frame) and scan 19 (open frame) also appear to use a Shimano 333 touring derailleur with a 46 T chainwheel and an 1/8" chain but I am unclear about the freewheel. These bikes have more of a utility look, with a mattress saddle and small flange hubs.

I am more than a little unsure about my contention that the derailleurs shown are the Shimano 333 touring model. This Shimano derailleur was extremely similar to various Cyclo, Huret and Simplex models of the time (it would be rude to use the word 'copy'), and it is also possible that other Japanese derailleur manufacturers produced very similar designs. My identification of the derailleur is based only on the blurry photographs - perhaps someone who can read the text can correct me!