"Suminokura Ryoi", a wealthy merchant in Kyoto, is called the father of water transport.

Suminokura Ryoi piled up vast wealth from the end of the 16th century to the beginning of the 17th century mainly by the trade with Vietnam. He built 'Takase-gawa" canal, running through the heart of Kyoto, out of his own pocket, while contributing to the improvement works of Japan's major rivers under the order of the then Government. And he also improved the Katsura, flowing Sagano area, for the better water transport, on the other hand spanned this river with Togetsu-kyo bridge in order to enhance the water transport convenience of this river. Three merchants, the Suminokura family, the Chaya family and the Goto family, vied with each other in wealth in Kyoto at that time. The Suminokura family became rich by a financial industry founded by the capital from medical treatment as a doctor, but two other families were a kind of the new rich as merchants with political ties. So they shortly fell according the the change of the Government body.

The picture shows a statue of him, standing in Kameyama Park, Arashiyama, Kyoto, from here he is dominating his great bygone engineering works.


Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久。


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