Jonathan Scobie

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The Reverend Jonathan Goble (1827-1897) was an American Free Baptist minister and missionary in Yokohama, Japan. It is said that around 1869, he built the first rickshaw to transport his invalid wife Eliza Goble around the city.[1] However, there are numerous other theories about the origin of the rickshaw, as explained in History of the Rickshaw.


His name is listed variously as Jonathan Scobie, E. Jonathan Scobie and Jonathan Goble.

In culture[edit]

Musical Theater: Jonathan Goble appears as a character (played by the narrator) in act two of the musical Pacific Overtures who explains how he came to invent his rickshaw while a series of local residents working as runners pulling his rickshaw die of exhaustion, each instantly replaced by a new runner.


  1. ^ Parker, F. Calvin (1990). Jonathan Goble of Japan. New York: University Press of America. ISBN 0-8191-7639-7.