Hokusai “Bridges in various provinces of Japan”
Artistic movement
Edo Period
Set in:
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1/ In addition to being known for his famous wave, Hokusai, a painter and xylographer, made a series of “Bridges in the different provinces” of Japan that is just wonderful. Here we go. 👇🏽

Images: self-portrait from 1839 and the Wave off Kanagawa 🌊 from the series “Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji”.

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2/ This series catalogs different types of bridges. Most of them existed in real life, but some were legendary and Hokusai knew of them through literature and folklore. It is believed that there were 12 of them but only 11 are known.

1️⃣ Fukui Bridge, Echizen

2️⃣ Tenpozan at the mouth of the Aji River, Settsu

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3/ The most famous bridge in the series is the Tenma Bridge in Setsu Province 3️⃣.

The scene takes place during the Tenjin festival, which was dedicated to the Japanese God of art and learning. Appreciate the people with their lanterns.

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4/ The Tenjin festival still takes place today in Osaka (Settsu province was a historical province in Japan, centered on this city) and is said to be one of the best boat festivals in the world.

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5/ This is the Suspension Bridge on the border between the provinces of Hida and Etchu 4️⃣.

It is a perfect example of an anti-funicular curve. The two workers who cross the bridge, a man and a woman, are the point loads that transform the “cable” into 3 straight lines.

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6/ Here, a type of bridges inspired by the Chinese “lunar” bridges, were called taiko (drums) bridges because of the reflection circular shape.

📍 Santuario Kameido Tenjin, Edo 5️⃣.

The foreshortened view chosen by Hokusai allows you to enjoy the structure.

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7/ Yahagi Bridge in Okazaki, on the Tokaido road 6️⃣.

The bridge over the Yahagi River west of the city was built in 1600. After its reconstruction in 1634, it became known as the longest bridge on the Tokaido.

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8/ And three more bridges

7️⃣ Togetsu Bridge in Arashiyama and Yamashiro province.

8️⃣ Old view of the 8-part bridge in Yatsuhashi in Mikawa Province.

9️⃣ Old view of the boat bridge in Sano in Kozuke province.

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9/ One that we can still enjoy today 😍 (although rebuilt).

Puente Kintai in the province of Suo 🔟.

Find here interesting information about this bridge!


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10/ And here’s a fantasy one: The bridge hanging from the clouds on Mount Gyödö near Ashikaga (bridge number 11!).

Ascetics used to climb this mountain. In this print, Hokusai depicts an imaginary wooden bridge connecting the ascetics’ training halls to a small shrine.

I hope you enjoyed it enough to have these amazing works of art on your wall. Share it with your loved ones if that´s the case.