F. (Frank) Brinkley.

The Kyoto industrial exhibition of 1895: held in celebration of the eleven hundredth anniversary of the city's existence. Written at the request of the Kyoto city government online

. (page 1 of 12)
Online LibraryF. (Frank) BrinkleyThe Kyoto industrial exhibition of 1895: held in celebration of the eleven hundredth anniversary of the city's existence. Written at the request of the Kyoto city government → online text (page 1 of 12)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook








Bernard Moses

*' "*^





OF 1895:


Erratum. In page 21, line 19, for "ob-
tained from the Fucho or Prefecture," read
" obtained from the City Authorities."





OF 1895:








The author begs to thank Messrs. CHAMBERLAIN and MASON
for permission kindly accorded to draw largely upon early editions
of their excellent Japanese " Hand Book." He has also to thank
Mr. M. YOKOYAMA and Mr. KOBAYASHI for much assistance, and
the City Authorities of Kyoto for ready and valuable aid.



OF 1895.

From times too remote to be included in written annals, it
was the custom in Japan for the Sovereign and the Heir Apparent
to the Throne to live at different places. The custom, though
not abolished, has been modified to some extent in recent times.
Separate palaces are still provided for the Emperor and the
Prince Imperial, but both, reside in the same city, whereas for-
merly the rule was to choose wholly different localities. It natur-
ally resulted that there grew up about the palace of the Prince
material interests and moral associations opposed to a change of
habitation, and thus, on his accession to the Throne, he trans-
ferred the capital of the empire from the place occupied by his
predecessor to the site of his own palace. In addition to this
source of frequent change, it happened occasionally that the
residence of the Imperial Court, and therefore the capital of the
empire, was moved from one place to another twice or even
thrice during the same reign, the only limit set to all these
shiftings being that the five adjacent provinces, known as the
Gokinai, were regarded as possessing some prescriptive title to
contain the seat of Government, Yamato being especially honored
in that respect. A long list might be compiled of places dis-
tinguished by imperial residence during the early centuries,
notable among them being Kashiwara, the capital of the Emperor
Jimmu-; Naniwa (now Osaka), that of the Emperor Nintoku ;


Otsu, that of the Emperor Tenchi ; and Fujiwara, that of the
Emperor Temmu. It must be noted, however, that in those ages
of comparative simplicity and frugality, the seat of government
was not invested with attributes of pomp and grandeur such as the
haughtier conceptions of later generations prescribed. The
Sovereign's mode of life differed little from that of his subjects,
and the transfer of his residence from place to place involved no
costly or disturbing effort. But as civilization progressed ; as the
population grew ; as the business of Administration became
more complicated ; and above all, as increasing intercourse
with China furnished new standards for measuring the in-
terval between ruler and ruled, the character of the palace
assumed magnificence proportionate to the imperial ceremonies
and national receptions that had to be held there. It is not
easy to trace the gradual stages of this development, but
it had certainly proceeded far by the beginning of the eighth
century, for the capital then established at Nara by the Empress
Gemmyo was on a scale of unprecedented magnitude and splen-
dour. A lady's name is fitly associated with this first payment
of large tribute to appearances. Seven Sovereigns reigned at
Nara consecutively, held there from generation to generation
partly by the environment they themselves created, and partly
no doubt by a perception of the advantages accruing ^rom
thorough centralization of the governing power. This epoch
bequeathed to Japan a collection of relics clearly indicating the
refinement that pervaded her domestic life eleven hundred years
ago, and the artistic proclivities already exhibited by her people.
A Japanese poet did not exaggerate when he wrote :

" Nara the Imperial capital
Blooms with prosperity ;
Even as the blossom blooms
With rich colour and sweet fragrance. "

But when the Emperor Kwammu (782-805 A.D.) ascended the
Throne, he found that Nara was not conveniently situated for


administrative purposes. After some -uncertainty, he finally
(794 A.D.) selected Uda, in the Kadono district of Yamashiro pro-
vince, and took steps to transfer the Court thither. The event
was invested with much ceremony and regarded as a subject of
national rejoicing, the people calling the new capital " Heian-
kyo/ ; or the "citadel of tranquillity." This is the modern Kyoto.
It continued to be the capital of the empire during a period of
1,074 years, until the seat of Government was removed to Tokyo
at the time of the great Meiji Reformation. The interval that
separated its choice as capital from the establishment of the
Shogun's seat of administration at Kamakura by Yoritomo an
interval of 392 years, from 794 A,D. to 1186 A.D. is known in
history as the " Heian epoch." Seventy-seven Emperors held
their courts successively at Kyoto. During so protracted an
epoch the city, of course, underwent many changes, but to this
day its general plan remains on the lines of its earliest pro-
jectors. It was built after the model of Nara, with modifica-
tions introduced from the metropolis of the Tang dynasty
in China. The outline was rectangular, 17,530 feet from
north to south, and 15,080 feet from east to west. Moats
and palisades surrounded the whole the system of crenelated
walls and flanking towers not having been yet introduced and
the Imperial Palace, its citadel, administrative departments, and
assembly halls occupied the centre of the northern portion.
The Palace was approached from the south, its main gate
(Shujaku-mon) opening upon a long street 280 feet wide (called
11 Shujaku-oji/' or the Shujaku thoroughfare), which ran right
down the centre of the city, terminating at the " Rojo '' gate.
The city was thus divided into two equal parts, of which the
eastern was designated " Sakyo/' or "left metropolis, " and the
western " Ukyo," or "right" metropolis." The superficial
division was into districts (jo), of which there were nine, all
equal in size except those on the east and west of the Palace.
An elaborate system of sub-division was adopted. The unit, or
ko (house), was a space meaning 100 feet by 50. Eight of these


units made a row (gyo) ; four rows, a street (cho) ; four streets, a
division (bo); four divisions, a square (ho); and four squares,
a district (jo). The entire capital contained 1,216 cho and 38,912
houses. The arrangement of the streets was strictly regular.
They lay parallel and at right angles, like the lines on a
checkers board. The Imperial citadel measured 3,840 feet
from east to west, and 4,600 feet from north to south. On
each side were "three gates; in the middle stood the Palace,
surrounded by the buildings of the various administrative
departments, and in front were the assembly and audience
halls. The nine districts were divided from each other by
streets, varying in width from 170 feet to 80 feet. They in-
tersected the city from east to west; were numbered from i
to 9, as ichi-jo, ni-jo, san-jo, and so on names retained until this
day and were themselves intersected in return by similar streets,
running north and south, and by lanes at regular intervals. The
houses were not of imposing dimensions or appearance. No
Japanese city has ever been beautified by grand public or private
edifices after the manner of the Occident as well as of other parts
of the Orient. The simplicity prescribed by the Shinto cult for-
bade architectural displays, and the peril of constant earthquakes
deterred men from building lofty and solid structures. Wood
was the material employed in every case, and as lightness, airiness,
and ornamentation in general were reserved for chambers open-
ing upon inner courts or looking out on miniature back gardens,
the front effect was sombre and monotonous. Many of the
houses were roofed with shingles, but some had slate-coloured
tiles, and the Palace itself was rendered conspicuous by green
glazed tiles imported from China and supposed to have been
manufactured in Cochin-China because they came to Japan by
that route.

The conception of such a city at such an epoch bears eloquent
testimony to the Emperor Kwammu's greatness of mind and re-
sources. But the Japanese were never a peace-loving people,


and amid the warlike tumults of later eras no less than among the
dangers from fire and storm that inevitably threaten a wooden
city, there was little chance of Kyoto's remaining uninjured.
Time and again conflagrations swept over the Palace and the
streets, and though new buildings always rose quickly from the
ashes, their dimensions and arrangement naturally underwent
various modifications. The story of the city's vicissitudes is thus
told by Messrs. Satow and Hawes in the second ^edition of Murray's
Guide Book : " In 1177, the whole of the palace was destroyed by
fire, and three years later the seat of government was removed
by Kiyomori for a short time to Fukuwara, the modern town of
Hyogo. After Yoritomo had made himself master of the State, lie
built a new palace on a reduced scale, which was burnt in 1249
and rebuilt almost immediately. During Go-Daigo Tenno's short
tenure of power, the Dai Dai-ri (Great Palace) was restored to
all its former splendour, only (o be destroyed again when he was
driven from the capital. His successors had to content them-
selves with a much smaller residence. During the O-nin war
(1467-8), though the whole city was destroyed, the palace escaped.
In 1567 a new palace, which was afterwards repaired by Hide-
yoshi and extended by lye-yasu, was completed by Nobunaga on
the site where the present one still stands. Since the beginning
of the 1 7th century the palace has six times been destroyed by
fire, the last occasion having been in 1854. In the following year
it was restored exactly in its previous size- and style. It nearly
experienced this'fate again in 1864, when the armed followers of
the Prince of Cho-shiu attempted to seize the person of the Mi-
kado, but were repulsed by the troops of the Shogun, the Princes
of Satsuma, Aidzu, and other supporters of the Government, The
city, however, did not escape, and as has happened on many oc-
casions during its history, fell a prey to the flames, and nearly
one half of it was laid in ashes. Since the removal of the Mikado
to Tokio, in 1868, its prosperity has greatly diminished, and its
population in 1877 was only 225,539. That its area has greatly
decreased can be seen from the fact that from Shichi-jo Dori S.,


what was once covered with houses is now laid o.ut in market-
gardens. In 1590, Hide-yoshi constructed an embankment round
the city, which he planted with bamboos, to form the boundary
between it and its suburbs. This embankment is marked on
nearly all the maps of Kioto, and considerable portions still exist
on the W. side of the city, but it is doubtful whether the whole of
the space within it was occupied by houses at the time of its con-
struction. Xavier, in one of his letters, says that it contained
90,000 houses, which would give a population of at least 450,000,
double what it is at the present day. Vilela, writing in 1562,
describes it as merely a faint image of its former magnificence,
and no wonder, since he appears to have been told that in ancient
times it had covered an area of no less than 189 square miles."

The population of the city according to the latest census was
298,000, and there is every reason to think that it will increase
rather than decline. Judging from the city's present water supply,
it does not appear that this point received paramount attention
from the Emperor Kammu's advisers. The river Kamo upon
which the city stands is little more than a wide expanse of pebbly
bed through the middle of which trickles a little rivulet. It is very
possible, of course, that the dimensions of the Kamo-gawa were
very different eleven centuries ago. Popular legends indeed say
that it dwindled to its present size in sympathy with the shrinking
of the great city that had once stood upon its banks. But if the
Kamo-gawa has changed from a broad stream to a waste of peb-
bles, its waters retain in as high a degree as ever remarkable
mineral properties that endear them to the bleacher and dyer
above all other waters in Japan. The Japanese too have a happy
faculty of putting to some graceful use or other everything that
nature offers, and thus it has come about that the unsightly bed of
the Kamo-gawa serves the citizens for a picnic place. There on
summer evenings they set up little tables to which access from the
banks is afforded by tiny bridges of bamboo, and at these tables
the people sit drinking tea, eating cakes, passing the wine. cup


and making music. It is the carnival of Kyoto, but the enjoy-
ment never lapses into rowdiness or boisterousness. In other
cities where rivers, not rivulets, are accessible, the people take
their summer coolings in flat-bottomed boats with picturesque
roofs that are never prostituted to any use more vulgar than the
carriage of pleasure-seekers. In Kyoto, the river being absent,
the light-hearted people have their picnics where it ought to be.
In this same river-bed may also be seen bleaching grounds where
wide expanses of whitening stuffs take the place of patches of
snow in the imagination of romantic citizens on summer evenings.
But it must not be supposed that because of the insignificant
dimensions of the Kamo-gawa Kyoto is ill supplied with water.
Lying in an amphitheatre of hills, it receives many tiny rivulets
that are led by stone aqueducts hither and thither through the
city, and of late the waters of Lake Biwa have been brought to
its doors by a canal that deserves examination as a specimen of
modern Japanese engineering skill. This canal, communicating
with the Kamo-gawa canal, the Kamo-gawa itself, and the Yodo-
gawa, brings Lake Biwa into navigable communication with Osaka
Bay. Messrs. Chamberlain and Mason, writing in the 4th Edition
of " Murray's Guide," give the follouing description of this inter-
esting work: "It was begun in 1885, an d opened to traffic in the
spring of 1890. Carrying goods and passengers between the pro-
vince of Omi and Kyoto, it has brought the rich harvests of the
former within the reach of the city markets ; and by irrigating the
Yamashina valley and the upper part of the valley of Kyoto, it
has already led to great extension of the area under rice cultiva-
tion. It also supplies water-power to mills and manufactories in
Kyoto. The main canal is 6fm. in length, and in parts of its
course runs through long tunnels. The total fall is I43ft., and at
Keage, near its entrance into Kyoto, the greater part of this fall
is utilised for traffic by an incline m. long, along which the boats,
placed in wheeled cradles, are drawn by an electric motor
stationed at the foot of the incline. At Keage, at the top of the
incline, the water of the canal divides, one part flowing in a



branch canal, 5im. long, which runs north of Kyoto and is avail-
able only for irrigation and water-power. The other part of the
water enters three 36in. pipes and is conveyed by these to the
foot of the incline, where, before again forming a navigable canal,
it serves to give the power needed to \vo$k the electric motor
which, by means of a wire cable, runs the boats up and down the
incline. This motor also works spinning mills, rice mills, etc.,
besides a system of incandescent and arc electric lights. From
the foot of the incline there is another stretch of open canal, with
a regulating lock between it and the old canal leading to Fushimi,
a suburb of Kyoto. But this old canal being able to pass only
boats of small draught, is of little use ; and a new canal to Fushi-
mi, begun in 1892, is approaching completion. This, the Kamo-
gawa Canal already mentioned, will have eight locks and one
canal-incline, and will carry heavy cargo and passenger boats.
The cost of the Lake Biwa Canal has been officially stated at ij
million yen, and was met one-third by an Imperial grant, one-
third from the national revenue, and one-third by the citizens of
Kyoto. The project of bringing the waters of the lake to Kyoto
was conceived and carried out by Mr. K. Kitagaki when he was
Governor of Kyoto; and a curious personal item in connection
with the matter is the fact that the design of such a water-way,
which should also be suited for the transport of men and mer-
chandise, was made the subject of the graduation essay for the
diploma of the College of Engineering in Tokyo by a student who
then became the engineer entrusted by Governor Kitagaki with
the execution of the work. It thus came about that a very fine
piece of engineering great both in plan and in execution was
designed and carried through successfully by a mere youth, who
rose at once to the position of one of the leading engineers in his
country. The same engineer has designed the new Kamo-gawa
Canal ; his name is Tanabe Sakuro. For some two years or so,
when engaged on the work he lost the use of the fingers of his
right hand ; and all the writings for his essays, and the beautifully
executed drawings were done with the left hand which he trained


lo the task. The natural drainage of the lake is by a river flow-
ing out of its S. end, which bears in succession the names of
Seta-gawa, Uji-gawa, and Yodo-gawa. It is not navigable in its
upper course. After passing circuitously down near Fushimi, where
it receives the waters of the canal, it falls into the sea at Osaka."
One little inaccuracy in the above description deserves correction.
Mr. Tanabe lost the use of his right hand, not while engaged on
the work of the canal, but during his period of studentship at the
College of Engineering where he applied himself to his studies
with excessive diligence.

Kaempfer, writing of Kyoto or Miako (capital) as he calls
it in 1690, says: "Miako is the great magazine of all Japan-
ese manufactures and commodities, and the chief mercantile
town in the empire. There is scarce a house in this large
capital where there is not something made or sold. Here they
refine copper, coin money, print books, weave the richest
stuffs with gold and silver flowers. The best and scarcest
dyes, the most artful carvings, all sorts of musical instruments,
pictures, Japanned cabinets, all sorts of things wrought in gold
and other metals, particularly in steel, as the best tempered
blades and other arms, are made here in the utmost perfection,
as are also the richest dresses and after the best fashion, all
sorts of toys, puppets moving their heads of themselves, and
numberless other things too many to be here- mentioned.
In short, there is nothing can be thought of but what may
be found at Miako, and nothing, though never so neatly
wrought, can be imported from abroad but what some artist or
other in this capital will undertake to imitate it. Considering this,
it is no wonder that the manufactures of Miako are become so
famous throughout the empire as to be easily preferred to all
others, though perhaps inferior in some particulars, only because
they have the name of being made there. There are but few
houses in all the chief streets where there is not something to be
sold, and for my part I could not help wondering whence they


can have customers enough for such an immense quantity of goods.
J Tis true, indeed, there is scarce anybody passes through Miako
but what buys something or other of the manufactures of this
city, either for his own use, or for presents to be made to his
friends and relatives."

It is in this capacity, as a city of art manufactures and indus-
trial enterprise, that the Kyoto of 1895 desires to introduce itself
to the notice of the outer world. It proposes to celebrate the
eleven hundredth anniversary of its foundation by an industrial
exhibition. The plan of stimulating enterprise and familiariz-
ing the public with the products and resources of different
localities by means of industrial exhibitions, was adopted by
Japan after the Meiji Restoration. She laid down for herself a
rule that one such display should be organized, on a national
scale, every fourth year. Minor exhibitions limited to special
articles, as tea, silk, rice, and so forth, are of constant occurrence.
Art exhibitions, too, are frequent, under the auspices of various
Societies. But of national exhibitions there have hitherto been
only three, and all were held in Tokyo. The claims of the
"Western capital " " Saikyo," as Kyoto is commonly called by
way of analogue to "Tokyo" or "Eastern capital" have now
been recognised, however, especially in connection with its eleven-
hundredth anniversary, and the fourth National Industrial Exhibi-
tion is to be opened there from the ist of April next. Visitors,
will, therefore, see the city in two aspects as a centre of art
and industry, and as the time-honoured capital of imperial and
feudal Japan, founded half a century before Lodbrok the Dane
sailed up the Seine, and fifty-five years before the birth of
Alfred the Great. From the latter point of view much has been
written about this most interesting place. Kyoto considered
under its former aspect as the chief town of a highly civilized
nation, is probably the least ostentatious city in the universe.
Apart from its Buddhist temples, which are gorgeous and im-
posing, it may be described as a collection of neat but rustic


dwellings, nestling among hills of the softest possible contours,
brooded over by a wonderful crystalline atmosphere, and resonant
with the gurgle of limpid streams that babble under its bridges
and beside its thoroughfares. Its water, indeed, is one of the
gentle city's richest possessions. For these rivulets possess
bleaching and dying properties unequalled elsewhere throughout
the empire, so that whoever desires a robe of pure white or of
brilliant hue must go to seek it in the Western Capital (Saikyo).
Kyoto is also a city of gardens. The humblest dwelling has its tiny
park, with miniature waterfalls, toy hills, and dwarf forests. Even
to-day, although, the tide of a ruder civilization has disturbed the
quiet current of old-time life, you may find the potter or en-
ameller decorating his vases or building up his subtle tracery of
many-hued designs, while the flowers and leaves which he copies
look in at him through the windows of his workshop. There is no
dazzling display of wares in shop-fronts. On the contrary, some
of the largest and wealthiest stores are to be distinguished only
by the air of bustle that pervades their precincts, and even that
is hidden from the aristocratic customer, who finds himself
ushered at once into a quiet chamber, opening upon shrubberies
and rockeries, and with the most unbusiness-like aspect conceiv-
able. The very houses have a modest, retiring look, being closed
in front by solid lattices across which the women and children of
former times peeped at processions of nobles and hierarchs
passing through the hushed streets. In truth, to the student of
Japanese art and ethics it would be impossible to find a more
interesting place than Kyoto, and for those that wish to investi-
gate the development of a remarkable nation's civilization, the
city has equal attractions. (( At least a "week," say Messrs.
Chamberlain and Mason, "is necessary to form an adequate
idea of its manifold beauties." Certainly a week is all too
short, and these same writers, in their admirable itinerary of
nine-days' sight-seeing, warn the tourist that, in order to ac-
complish the round of visits in that interval, he must be
content with a superficial examination. With a programme


mapped out, however, one can easily lengthen or shorten at will
the time devoted to each item, and it would be difficult to devise
a more intelligent programme than that of the above authors, for
they take the points of the compass as a basis, and ; commencing
with the north-western quarter of the city, lead the tourist round

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Online LibraryF. (Frank) BrinkleyThe Kyoto industrial exhibition of 1895: held in celebration of the eleven hundredth anniversary of the city's existence. Written at the request of the Kyoto city government → online text (page 1 of 12)