Office Flora – Hiromi Nishiwaki -四条河原 (Sjiko Kawara river beach )🌸😊🌈🗾

Published by Hiromi Nishiwaki on

Cooling off in the Evening at Shijogawara, Utagawa Hiroshige, ca. 1834,京都名所之内 四条河原夕涼


Hello My friends, how are you?
I learned in France, "Deconfinement" will be in stages.
After the rain, the ground solidifies. (雨降って地固まる/Ame Futte Ji Katamaru )

Today I'd like to talk about Shijō Kawara (四条河原) in relation to Hiroshige's painting.

What is Shijō Kawara?

It is a river beach of Kamo River near Shijo ohashi bridge in kyoto.

This area was vibrant part of Kyoto and theaters and tea houses attracted many people.
According to the article of Professor kawashima, River beaches of Kamo River, including Sijo Kawara, played an important role to hold entertainment performances, such as Sarugaku (Noh Play), from old times, even before The Ōnin War (応仁の乱, Ōnin no Ran) 1467–1477.

It was a civil war and  initially triggered by the succession dispute of 8th Ashikaga Shogun Yoshimasa, however eventually escalated into a nationwide civil war involving the Ashikaga shogunate and a number of daimyō in many regions of Japan. - Mankind hasn't grown wiser, like me and you. lol.


Ashikaga Yoshimasa  (足利 義政, January 20, 1436 – January 27, 1490)
The 8th shōgun of the Ashikaga shogunate who reigned from 1449 to 1473 during the Muromachi period of Japan.


The Ōnin War (応仁の乱) and its result

The war initiated the Sengoku period, "the Warring States period".
This period was a long, drawn-out struggle for domination by individual daimyō, resulting in a mass power-struggle between the various houses to dominate the whole of Japan.
And concluded by victory of Ieyasu Tokugawa, which was the beginning of Pax Tokugawa (my naming) from  1603 to 1868.


Ōnin War (rebellion).  Shinnyodō engi (Origin of Shinnyo-dō Temple; Shinshō Gokuraku-ji), vol.3 from a set of three vols.
important cultural property of Japan.


History of Bridges and Kamo River

It was 1349 that Officially Shijo Kawara appeared in History book, in relation to an entertainment performance.

It was to raise fund (Kanjin=勧進) to create Shijo Bridge (四条橋) ----
This bridge was called as "Gion Bridge" (祇園橋) initially - a Bridge, originally created to worship Gion Shrine (祇園神社).
In addition, Gojo Bridge (五条橋) was called "Kiyomizu Bridge" (清水橋) and originally created to worship Kiyomizu Shrine (清水寺).
In fact, bridges across Kamo River were created to worship shrines, from Rakuchu (洛中) =where Heian Kyo Capital (平安京) was to Higashiyama (東山), where those shrines were.


Izumo no Okuni, Performing Kabuki Unknown author

Shijo Kawara and Entertaiment Perfoemance

Shijo Kawara was famous as a place to hold entertainment performance.

Izumo no Okuni, a Shrine-Maiden and well known as a woman and "founder" of Kaubuki (cassical Japanese dance-drama), made performance in Shijo Kawara in 1603 and cheered people in a gloomy period just after battle of Sekigahara 關ヶ原の戰い 1600, battle between Toyotomi Clan vs Tokugawa Clan. and practical beginning of the era of Tokugawa shogunate.)


  Izumo no Okuni -from Okuni Kabuki-zu Byōbu, a six-panel screen, a collection of Kyoto National Museum


Battle of Sekigahara folding screen / More than 100 years old}

Kawaramono, village people

Shijō Kawara is also famous for Kawaramono (河原者, Burakumin, village people") and is said that they had a rights, in association with those entertainment performance.

Kyoto means litterary the CAPITAL CITY. In addition to this, traditionally, The home of the empelor is considered as the capital, therefore, Kyoto has been the capital of Japan from 794 to 1868. The place, where emperor lives has been called "GOSYO" (御所)  in Japanese, and its litteral translation is "The Place" ---You'll see how imperial culture is well incorporated into the Japanese language.


Please be safe, my friends!
Portez-vous bien, Mes amis!
My apologies, file size is 1.3mb. quite big.

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Hiromi Nishiwaki

Office Flora "JAPANOPHILE " Promotion was founded as a Japanese culture Research firm in 2017. We provide exciting information on Japanese Art and Culture and offer intellectual excitements though the prism of Hiromi Nishiwaki. We provide deep insights about Japanese traditional culture and Art from a Western perspective while keeping the core concepts from the Japanese Spiritual and traditional values intact. Our mission is to contribute to world happiness and prosperity.

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