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Bridge on the Tōkaidō

(Author)

@Noel: I am a little confused. Isn’t your Feb 27 comment basically saying what I also wrote on Feb 21? Bridges built at different times at locations very close to each other?

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(Author)

@Ted Taylor: I don’t think I was familiar with that bridge, Ted. Thanks! It reminds me a little of the Hozu Kobashi Bridge that you cross under when doing the Hozugawa Kudari from Kameoka.

Looking forward to reading about the Chinkabashi!

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Oiran Courtesan

(Author)

@Glennis Dolce: Heartrending, isn’t it. The woodblock prints make Yoshiwara look glamorous, but the behind the scenes stories show a very different place. Thankfully, there were also many women who managed to escape by marrying a client who would pay off their debts.

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How did I miss this one? Ohh… the pitiful & sadly descriptive narrative of the death of the woman.
?

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Bridge on the Tōkaidō

A nice piece, as always. Are you familiar with the Nagarebashi near Yawata in Kyoto? Besides clever construction, it’s very picturesque (and often seen in films).

(I’ve also just written a (soon to be published) piece on the Chinkabashi submersible bridges of the Shimanto-gawa in Shikoku.)

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I think that the locaton is exactly the same – the change in perspective or even the water level can significantly infuence the final outcome. Some of the photos were taken 10 or 20 years apart, so the bridge might have been replaced with a newer one. I’ve made a little comparison chart : the top left image shows the bridge as more springy and tightened, while the others are more “droopy”. However the mountain range is undoubtly the same.

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(Author)

I believe that the bridge in your link and the one in this article are not the same. The bridges are constructed differently, connected differently, and the rock formations and vegetation look different.

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(Author)

@Noel: I hope it has been “good” busy, Noel!

I think there is indeed a lot to catch up on… I just checked your last comment. That was July 16, 2022. If that was also the last time that you checked the site, there are about 31 new articles :-)

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@Kjeld: I’ve been quite busy with work and unfortunately didn’t have much time to spend on photography. As I can see I have lots of reading to catch up. :)

Considering the last photo once again – this is the same bridge, but from a farther perspective. You took the description from the Nagasaki Database, so I thought the location was approved.

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(Author)

@Noel: Good to hear from you again, Noel. I was wondering why you were so quiet recently.

There is no uncertainty about the name and location of the Kawaibashi Bridge and the Numakawa as both still exist today. When one uses Google Street View one can see the exact same angle of Mt. Fuji as seen in the top photo.

Interestingly, Suzukawa is a misreading of 須津川. The correct reading is Sudōkawa. This rivers flows into the Numakawa fairly close to the bridge, which is probably how the mixup originated.

I believe that the Kamaguchibashi Bridge is a different bridge from the one shown on the image in this article. The bridge is constructed differently, connected differently, and the rock formations and vegetation look different.

However, the mountains in the background do seem similar, and there are houses at the foot of the mountains in this image as well as in images of the Kamaguchibashi. It is possible that my image is perhaps an earlier bridge by the same name a few meters closer towards the mountains. It was quite common to rebuild a bridge nearby so the old one could be used until the new one was completed.

Because of this uncertainty I decided not to name a possible location in the caption.

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As for the top photo I also have doubts about the Kimbei attribution. This particular landscape was quite popular and it’s evident, that at some point the bridge was rebuilt or modernized. From the eight photos from my digital collection only three feature the “original” bridge – the one posted above, one taken by Farsari (C12 Yoda Bridge) and one taken by Beato/ Stillfried. What’s more interesting, not one caption mentions Numakawa as the name of the river – in two cases the captions says “Suzukawa”. The Nagasaki Database isn’t helping as both names are used alternately.

The last bridge (bamboo suspension bridge) was also often photographed, but not many information can be found. From the captions we know that the river is Fujikawa, the bridge is mentioned once as “Fudzibashi” and the location “at Kai (near Fuji)”. According to the Nagasaki Database the bride is called Kamaguchi.

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Crossing Japan's 'Raging Rivers'

(Author)

@Ted Taylor: Thank you for your kind words, Ted. I love that the photo of the Wada Pass looked like how you would have dreamt it. Do you have photos of when you were there?

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Informative and thoroughly researched as always. I particularly appreciated the photo of the Wada pass. It looks how I would have dreamt it when I walked the Nakasendo, though the modern version paled in comparison.

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Warehouses in Port

Capturing a glimpse of the past, this 1930 glass slide unveils the bustling activity of boats and warehouses in the port of Kobe. The details, from the small yet mighty crane lifting bales to the historic waterfront architecture, paint a vivid picture of maritime life in a bygone era. A fascinating journey through time, showcasing the enduring spirit of industry and innovation in the heart of Kobe’s port.

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Human Conveyor Belt (2)

(Author)

Glennis: Regarding tengutori continuing through the 1960s, Sunao Hirahara (Japan’s “father of modern cargo handling”) complained about this in a 1953 article in the magazine 生産と電気 (Production and electricity). He wrote that similar “primitive and antiquated methods of cargo handling” were still being used.

“It is a fact that cargo handling these days has been mechanized and such extreme methods are gradually fading away, but even so, methods of cargo handling and transportation similar to this can still be seen at any time and at any place.”

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(Author)

Glennis: Although I have had some of these coaling images since 2007 I also knew virtually nothing about this practice. There is very little information available in recent publications (although I found lots of descriptions in publications from the late 1800s and early 1900s). It took a lot of research to get all this data together ?

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As always, a fascinating history. I didn’t know anything about Japanese coaling. My dad would have loved this history as he was a naval architect and we always lived near shipyards where he worked (including Yokohama for six years).
I was shocked to read that this method of coaling was used up to 1960!!

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Sotobori at Tokyo Station

(Author)

@Matthew: Thank you for your kind words! The exterior of Tokyo Station always makes me happy. It exudes so much character.

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Thank you for this and the other Tokyo Station-related entries as I just love the brick station building, hotel, the surroundings and the history that wraps it all together!

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Drowning in a Sea of Fire

(Author)

@Glennis Dolce: Thank you. Yes, truly devastating, isn’t it! Having survived the 1995 Kobe quake and having covered almost all the major earthquakes in Asia since then, I have much respect for the people that went through it, like Nobu. I wish I could have met her.

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