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The Sumida River
Sumida River
(隅田川, Sumida-gawa) is a river that flows through Tokyo, Japan. It branches from the Arakawa River at Iwabuchi and flows into Tokyo
Tokyo
Bay. Its tributaries include the Kanda and Shakujii rivers. What is now known as the "Sumida River" was previously the path of the Ara-kawa. However, towards the end of the Meiji era work was carried out to divert the main flow of the Ara-kawa to prevent flooding. It passes through the following wards of Tokyo:

Kita Adachi Arakawa Sumida Taito Kōtō Chūō

Chuo ohashi, one of the many bridges over the Sumida

San-ya-bori Canal in the Sumida River. Ukiyo-e
Ukiyo-e
woodblock print by Utagawa Hiroshige
Hiroshige
in the Edo period

Contents

1 Culture 2 Literature 3 Sumida bridges 4 Panorama 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

Culture[edit] The Noh
Noh
play Sumida-gawa, which the British composer Benjamin Britten saw while visiting Japan
Japan
in 1956, inspired him to compose Curlew River (1964), a dramatic work based on the story. The kabuki play, Sumida-gawa — Gonichi no Omokage, is perhaps better known by the title Hokaibo, which is the name of the central character. This stage drama was written by Nakawa Shimesuke, and it was first produced in Osaka in 1784. The play continues to be included in kabuki repertoire in Japan; and it is also performed in the West. It was recreated by the Heisei Nakamura-za in the Lincoln Center Festival in New York in the summer of 2007, with Nakamura Kanzaburō XVIII leading the cast.[1] The Sumida River
Sumida River
Fireworks, which are recognized as one of the oldest and most famous firework displays in Japan, are launched from barges across the river, between Ryōgoku
Ryōgoku
and Asakusa
Asakusa
during Summer, a festival is also held at the same time. Literature[edit] The poet Matsuo Bashō lived by the Sumida River, alongside the famous banana tree (Japanese: bashō) from which he takes his nom de plume.[2] The Sumida River
Sumida River
appears in a haiku by Issa from 1820: spring peace-- a mouse licking up Sumida River Sumida bridges[edit]

Chuo Bridge

Katsushika Hokusai
Katsushika Hokusai
view of the Ryōgoku-bashi as an ukiyo-e print

View of the banks of Sumida river, in a Hiroshige III
Hiroshige III
print

Kiyosu-bashi

The Sumida runs through Tokyo
Tokyo
for 27 kilometers, under 26 bridges spaced at about one bridge per kilometer. Amongst these, the principal ones are:

The Ryōgoku-bashi ( Ryōgoku
Ryōgoku
Bridge), dating from 1932, replaced a bridge built in 1659. This bridge was immortalized many times by Hiroshige. The Eitai-bashi (Eitai Bridge), dating from 1924, replaces a bridge built in 1696.[3][4] The Senju Bridge, dating from 1921, replaced an earlier bridge initially constructed in 1594, which was for a long time the only bridge across the river. The Sakura Bridge, dating from 1985. The Kototoi Bridge, dating from 1928, was reconstructed at the location of the bridge which linked two nearby temples—the Mimeguri-Jinja and the Matsuchiyama-shoden. The Azuma Bridge,Azuma Bridge in background dating from 1931, replaced the bridge which was first built in 1774. This bridge is closest to Asakusa
Asakusa
Station and the Kaminari-Mon. The Komagata Bridge, dating from 1927, takes its name from the Matsugata temple dedicated to Bato-Kanon. The Umaya Bridge, dating from 1929, replaced a bridge built in 1875. Kuramae-bashi, built in 1924.[5] The Shin Ohashi (New Bridge), dating from 1976, replaced a bridge built in 1693. This bridge was not far from the Ryōgoku
Ryōgoku
Bridge.[3] The Kiyosu Bridge, built in 1928 after the model of the Deutz Suspension Bridge of Cologne, links Kiyosu with Nihonbashi-Nakasu.[4][6] The Chuo Bridge, dating from 1994, is the most recently built of the bridges across the Sumida. The Tsukuda Bridge, dating from 1964,[7] was the first bridge built after World War II, crossing the river from Tsukiji
Tsukiji
to Tsukishima. The Kachidoki Bridge was constructed in 1940 for the commemoration of the victory of the Japanese army at Lushun
Lushun
during the Russo-Japanese War. This bridge is the only drawbridge on the Sumida, and has not been raised since 1970.

Panorama[edit]

The mouth of the Sumida River
Sumida River
(facing southwest) enters the Tokyo
Tokyo
Port region of Tokyo
Tokyo
Bay. The bridge visible is the Kachidoki Bridge (Kachidoki Ohashi). To the left (east) of the river is the lower portion of Tsukishima
Tsukishima
(island neighborhood): the two twin towers on the island are The Tokyo
Tokyo
Towers, a condominium complex. Further to the left (east) is the blue smokestack of the Chuo Incineration Plant on Harumi Island. On the top left horizon is Odaiba. To the right (west) is the Tsukiji
Tsukiji
neighborhood, with the famous Tsukiji
Tsukiji
fish market visible to the right of and behind the reddish building (it is the shape of a quarter-circle). The large garden behind the market are the Hamarikyu Gardens. The coffee-colored building to the right of Tsujkiji market (with the slanting bottom) is the headquarters of the Asahi Shimbun. The collection of modern skyscrapers immediately behind the Asahi Shimbun
Asahi Shimbun
make up the Shiodome
Shiodome
area; and behind those towers is the top of Tokyo
Tokyo
Tower.

Notes[edit]

^ Lincoln Center
Lincoln Center
Festival, Hokaibo program notes in Playbill. July 10–29, 2007. ^ See, for example, the opening lines of Records of a Weather Exposed Skeleton, published in The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches, published by Penguin Classics ^ a b Titsingh (1834), p. 415. ^ a b Koizumi Kishio: 100 Views of Great Tokyo
Tokyo
in the Showa Era. #1 ^ http://myaukun.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/sumida-river-and-many-bridges-tokyo/ ^ Roland May: Discovering Construction as an Art – The ‘Cologne Bridge Quarrel'. Proceedings of the Third International Congress on Construction History, Cottbus, May 2009. ^ http://www.ihi.co.jp/bridge/ihi_hp2006/sekoujisseki/kokunai/tsukuda/tsukuda_e.html

References[edit]

(in French) Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon. Paris: Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 251800045; see also Imprimerie Royale de France, OCLC 311322353

External links[edit]

Tokyo
Tokyo
portal

National Archives of Japan
Japan
...Click link for photograph of re-built Ryogoku bridge (1875) National Archives of Japan
Japan
...Click link for photograph of re-built Azumabashi Bridge (June 1876) New York Public Library Digital Gallery ...Color woodcut print of "Pleasure boating on the Sumida River", c. 1788-1790

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sumida River.

Coordinates: 35°43′07″N 139°48′26″E / 35.71861°N 139.80722°E / 35.71861; 139.80722

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 25551

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