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Nihonbashi Tokyo

by Bob Kerstetter

In the Japanese detective movie Wings of the Kirin, a murder victim dies in the middle of Nihonbashi—Japan Bridge—below the kirin.

Powerful creatures, kirin deliver good luck or bad luck to those deserving luck of any type.

Kirin at Nihonbashi

With a deer body, dragon head and wings, kirin appear when sages are about.

Some experts liken the kirin to the unicorn. While some say it is almost identical to the unicorn, others say it looks more like a deer with a dragon head and—sometimes—flames on its body.

Kirin Dispense Luck on Nihonbashi

Kirin dispense luck—good or bad—whatever you deserve.

Serving with the kirin, guard dogs protect the bridge against evil spirits. To newcomers, the guard dogs sometimes look similar to the lions guarding temples in Taiwan and China.

Guard Dog on Nihonbashi

Guard dogs protect Nihonbashi against evil spirits.

Nihonbashi spans the Nihonbashi River in the Chūō District of Tōkyō, Japan.

Nihonbashi Spans Nihon River

Nihonbashi spans the Nihon River. While famous in its own right, it played a major role in the detective mystery Wings of the Kirin.

A freeway currently spans the bridge. For historical reasons, some people suggest moving the freeway under the river to restore a more classic view of the bridge.

Freeway Spans Nihonbashi

While a freeway currently spans Nihonbashi, some hope Tōkyō reroutes the freeway under the river.

The wood ancestor of the current bridge was built during the Edo era when the Shoguns closed off Japan to the outside world and the Japanese lived a in period of relative peace.

Nihonbashi from Near Water Level

The current Nihonbashi replaces the original wood structure built during the Edo era.

Japanese Words

Word, Kanji, Hiragana, English

Nihonbashi, 日本橋, にっぽんはし, Japan Bridge
Kirin, 麒麟, きりん, No English Equivalent

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