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Kintai Bridge

Midday at the Beach
 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

錦帯橋

Kintai Bridge 

by Kitaoka Fumio, 1979

Iyo Tangerine Mountain

IHL Cat. #1570

About This Print


Kitaoka's rendering of Kintai-bashi with Iwakuni Castle atop Mt. Yokoyama in the background.

Kintai-bashi (Kintai Bridge)
Source: website of oldtokyo.com http://www.oldtokyo.com/kintaibashi-iwakuni-c-1910/
“Kintaibashi is located on the foot of Mt.Yokoyama, at the top of which lies Iwakuni Castle. After Iwakuni Castle was completed in 1608 by Kikkawa Hiroie, the first lord of Iwakuni Domain, a series of wooden bridges were built. However, most of them were destroyed by floods several times before the construction of the iconic Kintaibashi in 1673. New stone piers replaced the old wooden ones.

Though thought to be flood-proof; the bridge was destroyed by a flood the next year. As a result, the stone piers were redesigned for greater strength, and a special tax was created to maintain the bridge. This maintenance involved periodic rebuilding of the bridge: every 20 years for 3 spans in the middle, every 40 years for 2 spans connecting to the riverside.

Consequently, the bridge remained undestroyed for 276 years, until washed away again by flooding from typhoon ‘Kijia’ in 1950. It had been in a weakened state at the time, due to the fact that the Japanese had stopped maintaining the bridge during World War II, and that the year before the typhoon, a large amount of gravel was taken by the US military forces from the river around the bridge to expand the US Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, strengthening the flow of the river. 

In 1953, the bridge was reconstructed similarly to the original, using metal nails made from the same tatara iron as the Katana to increase its durability. Between 2001 and 2004, all five bridge girders were restored for the first time in 50 years.


Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1570
 Title
Kintai Bridge 錦帯橋
 Series n/a
 Artist 
 Kitaoka Fumio (1918-2007)
 Signature 
 Fumio Kitaoka in pencil signed by artist in English below the image on right
 Seal unsealed
 Publication Date 1979
 Edition 58 of 120
 Publisher self-published
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - remnants of mounting tape verso top left, top right, bottom middle
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Miscellaneous
 Format 
 H x W Paper 18 7/8 x 24 7/8 in. (47.9 x 63.2 cm)
 H x W Image 15 9/16 x 21 7/16 in.  (39.5 x 54.5 cm) 
 Collections This Print 
 Reference Literature
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