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300: Kintaikyo - cherry blossom

This bridge is a landmark of western Japan, with both red maples and cherry trees planted alongside, for gorgeous pictures in all seasons. We are told that the name Kintaikyô - or "Brocade sash bridge" - is derived from a resemblance to a kimono sash. This is pretty unconvincing, until you realise that the river under the bridge is Nishikigawa: this Nishiki is the Japanese reading for "brocade", written with the same Chinese character as the Kin in Kintai.

The bridge consists of five wooden arches: at the time it was originally built (1673), wheeled transport was almost unknown in Japan, so presumably it was not worthwhile going to the extra effort of providing a level roadway. It seems unlikely that this design would have been used in Europe at that time.


Matsumoto-san's excellent photographs of the bridge (in Japanese)
Hokusai's painting (Interesting to see his perception of the stone pillars: compare my essay on walls. And for more than you ever needed to know about bridges, read J. E. Gordon.)

Permanently unavailable
A Beverly puzzle: 300 pieces; 38 x 26 cm (15" x 10")
Code: B73153 (73-153 on box)
Retail price ¥1200

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