Kintaikyo Bridge


November 28, 2021

Kintaikyo Bridge is a five-storied wooden arch bridge bridged over the Nishiki River in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture.


It is counted as one of Japan's Three Famous Bridges and Japan's Three Great Strange Bridges, and has been designated as a scenic spot. It is often written as "Ohashi" in the historical materials of the feudal era, and also "Ryounbashi", "Goryubashi", "Tainbashi", and "Abacus". It was also called "Abacus". The nickname "Kintai Bridge" is said to be based on the theory that it became established after its completion. The first appearance in the document is in the document described by Utsunomiya Ton. The bridge, which consists of five arches, is 193.3 meters long and 5.0 meters wide, and the main structural parts are made by using braided wood techniques such as joints and joints without using any nails. It has a structure in which five drum bridges are assembled in an arch shape on a masonry pier, and is known as a wooden arch bridge that is rare even in the world. In addition, the beautiful arch shape was realized only after effective utilization of iron (steel) as well as wood. It was built in 1673, inspired by a series of bridges over a bank in West Lake, Hangzhou. It became a sister bridge to Kintaikyo Bridge in Saiko in 2004. Currently, a stone monument of Kintaikyo Friendship is erected on the bank. As a famous place for cherry blossoms, it has been selected as one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots along with Kikko Park.


At the time of construction

Kintaikyo Bridge was built in 1673 (the first year of Enpo) by Hiroyoshi Yoshikawa, the lord of the Iwakuni domain. Since the first Iwakuni lord, Kikkawa Hiroie, built Iwakuni Castle, the bridge connecting the castle town on the opposite bank between Iwakuni Castle and Nishiki River has been built several times, but it was washed away by the flood of Nishiki River. Hiroyoshi, the third lord, sets out to build a bridge that can withstand floods. Based on the idea that the loss of piers could be avoided, he dispatched a carpenter, Kuroemon Kodama, to Koshu and ordered the investigation of Saruhashi, a drawbridge without piers. However, compared to Saruhashi, which is 30 meters wide, the width of the Nishiki River is 200 meters, so it was difficult to make a similar drawbridge. One day, Hiroyoshi was baking a rice cake, and he saw the bow-shaped warped rice cake and got a hint of the shape of the bridge. Also, from Obaku Dokuryu, a priest of Ming, he learned that there are six arch bridges over the island in Xihu, Hangzhou, and based on this, he came up with the basic concept of a continuous arch bridge. It is also said to be. By strengthening the abutment between the arches with stone walls, it can withstand floods. The foundation piercing began on June 8, 1673, and the stone-stacked piers were designed by Kodama Kuroemon, with two piers on the river embankment and four in the middle, for a total of six. We built a five-storied wooden bridge with cantilevered beams protruding from it. It is said that Hiroyoshi set up a house nearby and supervised the bridge construction himself, opened the fan and decided the shape of the curve of the arch bridge. In October of the same year, the Kintaikyo Bridge was completed, and the beginning of the migration was carried out by 12 members of the Seibei family, a farmer who is reputed to be a local farmer. However, in the following year, Enpo 2 (1674), the stone piers broke and the wooden bridge fell due to the flood. This improvement was successful, and after that, replacement work was carried out regularly without being washed away for more than 250 years until the Showa period, and it maintained its appearance. In addition, the bridge is managed by the clan, and in the clan, regardless of the status such as samurai and peasants, due to the cost of replacement and repair, ".

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