The Lake Biwa Canal Plan 1885-1890/ Panoramic View of Lake Biwa Canal

“Panoramic View of Lake Biwa Canal” drawn by Koryu Kawada. This entire map of the Lake Biwa Canal was published as an appendix to the Hiji Shimbun (the predecessor to the current Kyoto Shimbun) dated April 8, Meiji 23, the day before the completion ceremony. In addition,  the outline of the construction, the materials used and the construction cost, etc. are written in detail on the back side of this drawing.

In this figure drawn the locations of factories that were set up for Lake Biwa Canal, such as the Yamashina brick factory that baked the bricks used for Canal, the Fujio factory and Kageage factory that carried out tunnel construction, etc. On the other hand, the Kageage power plant, which will start operation the next year, and the Kamogawa Canal, which will start construction in Meiji 25, are not drawn.

At present, the main transportation and the role of water supply and power generation of Lake Biwa Canal has been abolished, but many of the first modern civil engineering technologies were introduced in Japan in the first half of the Meiji period. It was a modern construction that was highly valued as a modernization heritage, and the entire No. 1 Canal Line was designated as a National Historic Site. For that reason, it has recently become known as a sightseeing spot in Kyoto.

Western Building Annex. “Panoramic View of Lake Biwa Canal.” (accessed December 5, 2019).

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