Ryogoku Bridge

. Edo no hashi 江戸の橋 the bridges of Edo .

Ryoogoku, Ryōgoku 両国 Ryogoku district and bridge 両国橋 

Hokusai 葛飾北斎 Mount Fuji and the Ryogoku Bridge
「冨嶽三十六景色 御厩川岸 両國橋夕陽見」

Ryoogoku kawabiraki 両国川開き
opening the river season at the bridge Ryogoku

Ryoogoku no hanabi 両国の花火 - fireworkd at Ryogoku, Edo

two kigo for late summer
. WKD : Rivers and Kigo .

両国川開きの大花火 Great Firework at Ryogoku Bridge
Utagawa Hiroshige

Ryoogoku no hanabi 両国の花火 firework display at the Ryogoku Bridge
. WKD : hanabi 花火 fireworks .

. WKD : Sumidagawa 角田川  / 隅田川 river Sumidagawa .

The bridge Ryogokubashi was constructed after the Great Fire of Meireki 明暦の大火 in 1657, where many people died because they could not cross the river to safety.

. 江戸の大火 Edo no Taika "Great Fires of Edo" .


- quote
Ryōgoku (両国) is a neighborhood in Sumida, Tokyo. It is surrounded by various neighborhoods in Sumida, Chūō, and Taitō wards: Yokoami, Midori, Chitose, Higashi Nihonbashi, and Yanagibashi.

In 1659, the Ryōgoku Bridge was built, spanning the Sumida River just upstream of its confluence with the Kanda River. Its name, meaning "two provinces," came from its joining Edo (the forerunner of Tokyo in Musashi Province) and Shimōsa Province. The neighborhood derived its name from that of the bridge.

The Forty-seven Ronin avenged the death of their lord, Asano Naganori, by breaking into the mansion of his enemy, Kira Yoshinaka, in 1703. Part of the mansion has been preserved in a public park in Ryōgoku.

It is regarded as the heartland of professional sumo. Most training stables or heya are based there. The first Ryōgoku Kokugikan 両国国技館 stadium for sumo was completed in 1909. The present one was built in 1985 in the Yokoami neighborhood north of Ryōgoku. Three of professional sumo's six annual official tournaments take place there.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Ryōgoku Kokugikan 両国国技館

. Ekō-in 回向院 Eko-In and Sumo .

A restaurant for "Yukidaruma Oyakata" in Ryogoku 両国 ゆきだるま中野部屋

. WKD : Sumoo 相撲  Sumo wrestling .


source : www.kabuki-za.com/syoku
両国涼船の図 Boats for enjoying the evening cool at Ryogoku

A trip on a boat for the fireworks cost about 23000 Yen.
The food served was dengaku tofu on skewers with miso paste, sushi, tenpura, mochi rice cakes, and of course sake and cold water.

2 samples from Utagawa 歌川豊国 - 江戸両国すずみの図 - Taking the evening cool at Ryogoku

During the evening of the great firework display, all the tea stalls and eateries along the river were full of people.

- Edo no shoku bunka -


. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .

kaen 火焔 flames
On the 13th day of the 7th lunar month in 1816, around midnight, a man was crossing the Ryogoku bridge when he saw a row of flames on the river. In its front and back were people on horses, clad in traditional court robes, brotecting the flames. Two months later there was a great storm and flooding, so this might have a warning of bad things coming.


- - - - - H A I K U - - - - -

Hiroshige 広重

- - - - - Issa on Ryougoku Bridge - - - - -

toshi no kure kame wa itsu made tsurusaruru

year's end --
how long must the turtles
hang in the air?

Tr. Chris Drake

This hokku was written on 12/27 (Jan. 24) in 1808, when Issa was in Edo and is about turtles being sold on Ryogoku Bridge, a large, busy bridge going over the Sumida River. Ceremonies for the release of living beings (Houjou-e) were held by both Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, at some on a monthly basis and at some mainly in the first and eighth lunar months. One temple in Edo, Houshouji, was build mainly to carry out such ceremonies, in which turtles, eels, fish, birds, fireflies, and other animals living in captivity were released into their natural element. In addition individuals carried out personal acts of release accompanied by prayers throughout the year whenever they felt an impulse to do so. The turtles in this hokku are being sold by one or more turtle dealers to individuals who cross the large, crowded bridge in downtown Edo.

After buying a turtle (for about US $1), the customer will take the turtle to the banks of the Sumida River or to a pond in a temple or shrine and release it while saying a prayer for it. Most of the turtles are in a wooden tub, but the dealer hangs two or three turtles from strings tied to the railing to attract customers. There are probably fewer customers at the end of the year, although some people are no doubt planning to buy a turtle for their children to play with at New Year's, when it will be an auspicious symbol of a very long life, after which they plan to release the turtle at one of the big ceremonies in the first month. Issa lived near the bridge and no doubt has seen the hanging turtles before, but since there are fewer customers at the end of the year he wonders if it isn't cruel to keep hanging the turtles up even now. Of course it is cruel at any time of the year, but Issa's understatement makes the hokku more powerful. And the fact that it's the end of the year makes it very clear that turtles will hang in the air on the bridge year after year without end.

Issa is no doubt indignant about the hypocritical custom of catching turtles and other beings just so they can be sold and later released, and he himself surely sympathizes with the hanging turtles and feels he can understand to a certain extent how they must feel. During the lunar year that is now ending, Issa has been back to his hometown twice to negotiate with his half-brother about their inheritance. During the second visit he signed an agreement to share the house and fields, but his brother has remained cold to him and has kept asking for more time before they implement the agreement. Issa must feel as if he is suspended indefinitely between his hometown and Edo, and he no doubt wonders whether his brother will ever implement the agreement. Issa returned to Edo from his second visit to his hometown only ten days before he wrote this hokku, so his feeling of homelessness must be very strong. Using irony, Issa may be asking, Must we turtles hang in their air our whole lives, that is, as tradition has it, for ten thousand years?

The woodblock print by the print artist Hiroshige of a turtle for sale hanging in the air above a wooden tub on Mannen-bashi, or Ten Thousand Year Bridge, another large Edo bridge. Mt. Fuji can be seen far away in the west below the suspended turtle, which seems to soar above it. This may well be an ironic comment by Hiroshige.

Chris Drake


- Issa about Ryogoku -

ryôgoku ya fune mo hito-gumi toshiwasure

Ryogoku Bridge--
even on a boat, people
drinking away the year

Ryôgoku Bridge is the oldest of the major bridges crossing the Sumida River in Edo (today's Tokyo). It links the provinces of Shimosa and Musashi, hence its name, which means, "Both Provinces."
According to Maruyama Kazuhiko, Ryôgoku was a famous east-west bridge where people would gather to enjoy the cool of evening. In this case, instead of pleasant cool air, the bitter cold of night stretches to the east and west.

ryôgoku no ryoohoo to mo ni yozamu kana

on Ryogoku Bridge
in both directions...
the cold night

Tr. and Comment - David Lanoue

ryôgoku ya chito suzumu ni mo maigo fuda

Ryogoku Bridge--
even in this moment of cool air
a lost child sign

Tr. David Lanoue

kawahori ya saraba nanji to ryôgoku e

bats are flying--
let's go, then
to Ryogoku Bridge!

Tr. David Lanoue

hito-goe ya yo mo ryôgoku no doyoo teri

people's voices
on Ryogoku Bridge even at night...
midsummer drought

Tr. David Lanoue

hitori mi ya ryôgoku e dete kusuri kuu

my life alone--
all the way to Ryogoku Bridge
for medicine

Tr. David Lanoue

. kusuri gui 薬喰 "eating medicine" . - - - kigo for all winter


Ryogoku Bridge and the Great River
The Ryogokubashi Bridge and Okawabata Bank


- Woodblock prints about Ryogoku Bridge
- source : hix05.com/rivers/ukiyoe


両国に古りし下駄屋や冬の雨 ... furushi getaya
Katsumata Itto 勝又一透 (1907 - 1999)

. getaya 下駄屋 craftsman making Geta in Edo .

Kikaku 其角 (両国橋の舟に遊びて)


Minagawa Bansui 皆川盤水


. Japanese Architecture - cultural keywords used in haiku .

. Edo no hashi 江戸の橋 the bridges of Edo .

- #Ryogoku #ryoogoku #ryogokubridge -

1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

両国橋の親柱。両国橋は、 武蔵国(むさしのくに)と下総国(しもうさのくに)を結ぶから両国橋といいます。
Later it was simply called 大橋 Ohashi.