Saturday, October 12, 2013

All Roads Lead to Nihonbashi (日本橋)

 It's funny how you can live in a place for a decade and miss a lot of what's right there nearby.

It's autumn, the weather's been glorious here in Tokyo (here read cool that the scorching summer we just went through), and the leaves are starting to turn colour-wise.

A couple of days ago I was on tight writing deadlines, but it was superb weather again so I decided to skip out and finally go explore the area in central Tokyo around the Nihonbashi, literally Japan Bridge — which was built a century ago in 2011, but rests on what has been a vital conduit spot for this city since the 17th century.

And I'd never even seen it before now except in ukiyo-e woodcuts by Hiroshige.

Japan Bridge is also the setting and title for a 1956 movie — Nihonbashi — by the great Japanese director Kon Ichikawa.

Ichikawa's first film in colour tells a riveting yarn of two geisha fighting for control of the Nihonbashi area, along the way brushing kimono with ghosts, murder, infanticide and flying daggers.

Read more of this piece and glimpse a swag of additional images @ Forces Of Geek.