Commoners in Kyoto Remodeling / Bridges as usable spaces in city [Bibliography 4]

Photo of Sanjo Ohashi Bridge with Yuka deck beneath taken on 1st June, 18701.

Photo of ladies enjoying the coolness on the Yuka deck2.

During the Meiji Period(starting from around 1600), people wanted to maximise the usage of river as tools for cooling. Instead of utilising the river banks, they made use of the empty spaces underneath the bridges as they were of greatest proximity to the cool water surface. These spaces were called Yuka decks. They were commonly used especially during the hottest months in summer in July and August. There were various types of seatings ranging from elevated raised-floor type decks to low floor decks and benches on the sandbanks. 

The usage and nature of bridges (and rivers) was explored. Their functionality were expanded from temporary transportation of human and goods to a usable space where people can stay. This not only demonstrates the well-use of natural resources but also informs a new life style and new cityscape. However, this interesting tradition gradually disappeared later on. Yuka decks on the east side of the Kamo River were removed for the construction of the Kamo River Canal in 1894 and the Outousen Line extension of the Keihan Railway in 1915. In the Taisho period, sandbar-sitting was forbid because of the Misogigawa waterway, a flood-prevention construction work.



[1] Alarmy. Kamo river, Sanjo Ohashi bridge, Kyoto, Japan.

[2] Kyoto Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka. History of Kamo River Nouryou-Yuka.


[Narratives 5]Commoners in Kyoto Remodeling / Discrepancy from the Toyotomi regime


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