support this research
70319-0007 - Osaka 1880s: Shinsaibashi Bridge

Osaka 1890s
Shinsaibashi Bridge

Artist Kimbei Kusakabe
Publisher Kimbei Kusakabe
Medium Albumen Print
Period Meiji
Location Osaka
Image No. 70319-0007
Purchase Digital File
Author

Shinsaibashi bridge in Osaka, Japan. View towards Kita.

The area across the bridge was famous for its many book shops. The large buildings in the back are the Buddhist temples Kita Mido and Minami Mido. The Western building on the left is the telegraph branch office.

70512-3763-1 - Shinsaibashi in 2007
Shinsaibashi from about the same vantage point in 2007.

The Shinsaibashi area was located nearby the red light district of Shinmachi and the theater district of Dontonbori. As a result, it prospered as a busy shopping street. There were stores selling lacquer-ware, books, antiques, instruments, paperhangers, and ornaments. The famed kimono store Matsuya, later to become the large department store chain Daimaru, was located on Shinsaibashi-dori, the street from which this photo was taken.

The Western-style iron bridge was imported from Germany in 1873 (Meiji 6) and was 37.1 meters long and 5.2 meters wide. It was the second largest bridge in Osaka and the 5th largest in Japan.

It replaced a 35-meter long and 4 meter wide wooden bridge built in 1622 (Genna 8) by Shinsai Okada (岡田心斎)—after whom the bridge is named. He was one of four merchants who dug the Nagahori canal. The steel bridge was replaced by a stone bridge in 1909 (Meiji 42).1

100913-0004 - Map of Osaka, 1893 (Meiji 26)
1893 (Meiji 26) Map of Osaka: 1. Nishi Yokobori Canal; 2. Higashi Honganji Temple (Minami Mido); 3. Yotsubashi Bridges; 4. Nagahori Canal; 5. Shinsaibashi Bridge; 6. Osaka Castle.

The Nagohori canal was reclaimed in 1964 (Showa 39), creating Nagahori-dori. Simultaneously, the stone bridge was converted into an overpass. What was once a picturesque canal, now turned into a busy thoroughfare full of noisy cars. A beautiful part of Osaka had vanished forever.2

The original iron bridge was reconstructed in 1973. It was placed in Osaka’s Tsurumi Ryokuchi in March 1989.3

In 1997, an underground shopping and amusement mall was built where the canal used to be. It cost a whopping JPY 77 billion (USD 700 million). Sections of the stone bridge became part of the pedestrian crossing.4

About one-third of the 730 meter long shopping arcade has a glass ceiling with water flowing on its surface. The parts of the bridge and the water must make people feel as if the canal never disappeared…

see current map

Notes

1 Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Center Promotion Association, History Library. Retrieved on 2007-03-30

2 Osaka City, 心斎橋(しんさいばし). Retrieved on 2008-02-03

3 Osaka City, The Original Shinsaibashi Bridge. Retrieved on 2007-03-30

4 Kippo, Trompe l’oeil brook to flow under Shinsaibashi Bridge. Retrieved on 2007-03-30

Published
Updated

Leave a Comment

Reference for Citations

Duits, Kjeld (). Osaka 1890s: Shinsaibashi Bridge, OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN. Retrieved on May 27, 2022 (GMT) from https://www.oldphotosjapan.com/photos/1/osaka-1880s-shinsaibashi-bridge

I have a small favor to ask

Old Photos of Japan aims to be your personal museum for Japan's visual heritage to increase our understanding of Japanese culture and society.

Finding, acquiring, scanning, restoring, researching and conserving these vintage images, and making the imagery and research freely available online, takes serious time, money and effort.

I do this without charging for access, selling user data, or running ads.

Your support helps to make this possible, and ensures that this important visual heritage of Japan will not be lost and forgotten.

If you can, please consider supporting Old Photos of Japan with a regular amount each month. Or become a volunteer.

Thank you,
Kjeld Duits

support this research

Explore More

…

Osaka 1880s
Naniwabashi Bridge

A rare view of the two part Naniwabashi bridge, built in 1876 (Meiji 9).

…

Nagasaki 1880s
Ebisu Shrine and Harbor

A beautiful view of Nagasaki Harbor and Ebisu Shrine (恵美須神社) taken from Akunoura (飽の浦). The mountains to the left are Mt. Konpira (金比羅山) and Mt. Tateyama (立山).

…

Kobe 1910s
Hyogo Kencho

Two jinrikisha (rickshaw) pullers stand in front of Hyogo Kencho, the building for the Prefectural Government of Hyogo in Kobe, capital of Hyogo Prefecture.

Comment

Kjeld,
Jouw initiatief om oude foto’s op het internet te publiceren vind ik top.
Groetjes, Henk

·