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Kintaikyo bridge (maples)
© Yanoman
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1000: Kintaikyo bridge (maples)

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 Kintaikyo - or "Brocade sash bridge" - is derived from a resemblance to a kimono sash (see the Japan Information Network link below). 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
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 Yanoman puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: Y10916 (10-916 on box)
Retail price ¥2500

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