Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Iwakuni Castle (overlooking Kintai-kyo Bridge)

Originally built by the prefectural lord Kikkawa Hiroie in 1608 (Edo period), Iwakuni Castle took 5 years to construct. Chosen for its natural defense advantages, the castle sits atop Mount Yokoyama and looks down on the Nishiki River and modern day Iwakuni. Only 7 years after construction, the castle was torn down under the ‘one castle per province’ decree of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Reconstruction of the existing castle, built in similar style to the original castle, didn’t occur until 1962.

Hiroyoshi Kikkawa

The 3rd lord of the Kikkawa family, was the greatest influence in the development of the Kintai-kyo Bridge in 1673.

Kintai-kyo Bridge (Arch Bridge)

Kintai-kyo city website

The history of the Kintai-kyo Bridge


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Kintai-kyo Bridge, Iwakuni city Yamaguchi

Kintai-kyo City Website

Kintai Bridges - The bridges of friendship between China and Japan

Kintai Bridge was named Hanbi Bridge before the Ming Dynasty. In 1653, during the reign of Emperor Shunzhi of the Qing Dynasty, Zen Master Du Li, an eminent monk and pharmacist in Hangzhou, was invited to preach in Japan.

Inspired by the description of this causeway-conjoining bridge in the book of West Lake Chronicles, Master Du Lin brought to Japan, Castellan of Iwakuni built a 4-pier, 5 arch bridge in 1673 on Jinchual River bearing the name of Kintai.

In the spirit of Sino-Japanese Treaty on Peace and Friendship, Hangzhou and Iwakuni signed the Kintai Bridges Friendship Agreement on the 6th of November, 2004 to join efforts in forging wide ranging collaboration in tourism, culture, education, trade and other areas of mutual interest.

The Kintai Bridges are the bridges of friendship between two cities, but remain more so than ever as the proof of friendship between two nations ever since ancient times.

Only Samurai were allowed to use the bridge. Anyone else had to walk, wade or boat across the river.