Tsujun Bridge in Kumamoto Recommended for National Treasure

Yamato Board of Education via Jiji Press
Tsujun Bridge

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A government panel on Friday proposed the designation of Tsujun Bridge, one of the country’s biggest arched stone bridges built in modern history, as a national treasure.

Under the proposal submitted to the culture minister, the Cultural Affairs Council recommended that the stone bridge in the town of Yamato, Kumamoto Prefecture, be designated a national treasure, with eight other structures also added to the list of the Asian nation’s important cultural assets.

The designations are expected to be announced soon, in line with the council’s recommendations, bringing Japan’s number of important cultural properties to 2,565, including 231 national treasures.

Built in 1854 toward the end of the Edo period, Tsujun Bridge is a working aqueduct, providing the area with agricultural water to this day after undergoing work to fix damages from massive earthquakes in 2016 and torrential rain in 2018.

Among the structures recommended to be designated as important cultural properties by the council, the Tedori River’s Shichikayosui Irrigation System in the city of Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture, was built in 1901 during the Meiji period.

A villa by architect Antonin Raymond in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, is also among the eight structures. The summer house is known for its use of Japan’s traditional techniques for modernist architecture.