Japanese Covered Bridge Hoi An

by Administrator | Monday, May 12, 2014 | 1565 views


Japanese Bridge is the bridge thrown over a gulch flowing into the Huai River, connecting two streets of Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Tran Phu nowadays, looking over a peaceful  Thu Bon river, Japanese Bridge is a wooden bridge built by the Japanese merchant who came in Hoi An for trading to build the bridge to connect the streets in the east of Japanese area with streets of Chinese in the west of ancient port Hoi An that facilitates for the trading. So far there is no material defined for the formation of the bridge,  but in Vietnamese ancient bibliographies, the name of “Japanese Bridge” (Nhat Ban kieu) first appeared in 1617. This allows for the conjecture that the bridge has been built in earlier times, or at the latest by 1617.

The formation of Japanese Bridge is associated with a “mission” that is quite interesting. According to legend, a species of aquatic monster in the ocean (called Cu in Vietnam, called Cau Long in China, and Mamazu is its name to be called in Japanese) whose head was in Japan, his back is in Hoi An, Vietnam, and the tail then in India, every time it is about to move that will cause flood and the big earthquake in Japan. To prevent the monster to fidget, the Japanese had to build the bridge as a form to eliminate the disaster.

With a width of 3 meters and the length of approximately 18 meters, Japanese Bridge has a foot that was built of stone, curved wooden bridge surface spans the small stream. Apart from a passage in the middle, both sides also have long and narrow wooden pedestal as a place to rest, observe and purchase goods. The bridge is designed as a system that a house is above and a covered bridge below, it includes 7 compartments, in which 5 middle ones is on the water surface and the first two compartments is located on banks in the West and the East that is designed as two gates leading into the bridge.

As a unique architectural work bears the stamp of Hoi An, Japanese Covered Bridge is not only the interference position of three cultures: Japan – Vietnam – China but also reflects talent and the creativity of artisans in Kim Bong carpentry village 400 years ago. This work was approved by the Ministry of Culture and Information recognized as a historic national culture on February 17th 1990. And the image of Japanese Bridge was also chosen as the symbol of the ancient town of Hoi An, is an invaluable property of the city.

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