2/12/2014

Eitaibashi bridge

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Eitaibashi 永代橋 Eitai-bashi bridge

This bridge spans the Sumidagawa 隅田川 Sumida River.
It was first built in 1698 on request of the fifth Shogun, Tsunayoshi 徳川綱吉, to celebrate his 50th birthday. It was about 100 meters upriver from the location of today, where the river crossing of Fukagawa 深川の渡し had been.
It was the fourth bridge over the Sumidagawa river and the most downstream, connecting Edo with Fukagawa.


source : blog.livedoor.jp/henky

It was about 200 meters long and 6 meters wide. It had 30 poles to support the bridge. To let trade ships with sails pass even during high tide, it hat do be quite high.

Around 1719 it had become rather old and was in need of repair. Most of the anti-slipping boards had been worn out. But the villages on both sides could not decide how much to pay and the Bakufu government was also not ready with a suitable plan, so things hang on . . .

In 1807, on the 20th of September, was the great festival at Fukagawa Tomioka Hachimangu, where new festival floats had been allowed after a break of 12 years. Everyone was excited and wanted to see the festival.
On that day, shortly before the accident, a boat of a feudal lord passed under the bridge and the warden stopped the crowd from crossing for that time. When the boat was gone, everyone stormed over the bridge and then it happened.
Near the Fukagawa side the bridge broke in two places and more than 1400 people fell and slid in the river, drowned and could not be found later.

The bridge has been crowded like a commuter train nowadays, with everyone shoving and pushing forward to reach the festival site.
Folks on the Edo side of the bridge had not yet realized what had appened and kept pushing on, so ever more people slipped down into the river once they crossed the highest part.

An official from the Southern Ward Office, one Watanabe Kozaemon 渡辺小佐衛門, then realized what had happened and posted himself at the acces to the bridge, draw his sword and prevented the folks from pushing past him, threatening to kill them if they tried to go past him. (This story has become a legend in Edo, even taken up by the writer Kyokutei Bakin 曲亭馬琴 in the story of Toenkai 兎園会 written in 1825.)


source : ginjo.fc2web.com/021eitaibasi

落橋事故 - 文化4年(1807)8月 15日 Bridge Collapse Accident

Many small boats came to help looking for drowning people, temporary hospitals were set up along both shores to take care of the wounded.

The bridge was later rebuilt by the Bakufu government and then renewed to become the first iron bridge in Japan and in Tokyo in 1897.


source : www.postalmuseum.jp/collection


Part of the new bridge was still built with wood and burned down during the Great Tokyo Earthquake in 1923.
It was rebuilt again in 1926 as the first earthquake-proof bridge in Tokyo.

It was declared an important national treasure in 2007.

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The Eitaibashi bridge in our modern times :
. . . reference . . .

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. WKD : Bridge (hashi 橋) .


. Fukagawa Tomioka Hachimangu 富岡八幡宮 .


- Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉
. Bashoo-an 芭蕉庵 Basho-An in Fukagawa 深川 .


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- - - - - H A I K U and S E N R Y U - - - - -

- about the Bridge Collapse Accident

永代と かけたる橋は 落ちにけり きょうは祭礼 あすは葬礼

the Eitai bridge collapsed -
today the festival announcement
tomorrow the funeral announcement

Tr. Gabi Greve


eitai 永代 can mean something to last permanently . . . and the bridge was built with this wish for the Bakufu government of the Tokugawa clan.



永代橋落ちんばかりの神輿かな
Eitaibashi ochin bakari no mikoshi kana

from Eitaibashi
all the festival floats
fallen down . . .


Nakada Minami 中田みなみ

The cut marker KANA is at the end of line 3.

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春風や永代橋の人通り
harukaze ya Eitaibashi no hitodoori

spring breeze -
all these people walking
over Eitaibashi bridge


. Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規 .

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Kawase Hasui 川瀬 巴水 - Eitai Bashi - the bridge from 1926.

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. Japanese Architecture - cultural keywords used in haiku .

. Famous Places and Powerspots of Edo .

. senryu, senryū 川柳 Senryu poems in Edo .


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