OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN, a photo blog of Japan in the Meiji, Taisho and Showa periods

Old Photos of Japan
shows photos of Japan between the 1860s and 1930s. In 1854, Japan opened its doors to the outside world for the first time in more than 200 years. It set in motion a truly astounding transformation. As fate would have it, photography had just been invented. As the old country vanished and a new one was born, daring photographers took photos. Discover what life was like with their rare and precious photographs of old Japan.
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Osaka 1930s • Naniwa Bridge

Naniwabashi, Osaka

Naniwa Bridge in Osaka, Japan. The bridge spans the Old Yodo River and was completed in 1915. Naniwa Bridge was, and still is, well known for its lampposts and stone statues of lions. It featured impressive stone steps leading to Nakanoshima Island and Nakanoshima Park.

When Osaka started modernizing its urban infrastructure at the end of the 19th century, high on the agenda were the construction of a modern harbor, improvement of the Yodo River, introduction of streetcars, widening of Osaka’s narrow streets and modernization of Osaka’s many bridges.

As steel became increasingly available, it was gratefully used by Japan’s newly minted civil engineers to build Japan’s modern bridges. Naniwa Bridge is especially representative of the kind of bridges built during this period.

It still stands and is one of the oldest Western style bridges in Japan. Although its superstructure was completely replaced early this century, it faithfully follows the original design.1

Map of Nakanoshima, Osaka, 1922
1922 (Taisho 11) Map of Osaka: 1. Oebashi; 2. Osaka City Hall; 3. Yodoyabashi (Yodoya Bridge); 4. Dojima River; 5. Hokoku Jinja (A shinto shrine honoring Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It was built in 1879 and moved to Osaka Castle in 1961); 6. Tosabori River; 7. Prefectural Library; 8. Central Public Hall; 9. Naniwabashi (Naniwa Bridge); 10. Nakanoshima Park; 11. Tenjinbashi (Tenjin Bridge).

1 Matsumura, Hiroshi (2004). Bridges: Highlights of Osaka’s Urbanscape. Osaka City Foundation for Urban Technology, OSAKA and Its Technology, No. 45.

Photographer: Unknown
Publisher: Unknown
Medium: Postcard
Image Number 70122-0015

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You can also licence this image online: 70122-0015 @ MeijiShowa.com.

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Posted by • 2008-04-11
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