This bridge is one of the oldest ones in Tokyo, and was originally built to celebrate the 50th birthday of the 5th shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi. It is said that the materials were the remaining woods for the main hall construction of nearby Kan-eiji Buddhist temple in Ueno. This place was the mouth of the Sumida at that time, so was the hub of water transport of Edo, present Tokyo. Thus, this was designed as large as possible in that it wouldn't hinder all cargo-vessels from coming ang going. In 1807, however, this got involved in a tragic event. About 1,400 people were killed in a collapse of this bridge, which was caused by overloading. Too many people rushed for a festival held by Tomioka Hachimangu Shinto shrine on the other side of the Sumida, by way of this bridge. Present Eitai-bashi bridge in the picture was rebuilt in 1923 as the fourth generation, right after the former one was largely damaged by the Great Tokyo Earthquake. This was modeled after the bridge at Remagen in Germany, which is known by a movie released in the US in 1969, and was Japan's longest bridge at that time.
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