Tokyo’s bridge

The first time I noticed the bridge in Tokyo was because of two stories of Keigo Higashino.

One is “When Prayer Ends”. The father and daughter in the story were unable to meet in an open manner because of the murder more than 20 years ago. The way they keep in touch has become the key to solving the case. On the father’s calendar, the bridges in Tokyo are neatly written: “January, Yanagibashi; February, Asakusabashi; March, Saemon bridge; April, Tokiwa bridge; May, one stone Bridge; June, West River Bank Bridge; July, Nihonbashi; August, Edo Bridge; September, Kaiqiao; October, Kayaba Bridge; November, Minato Bridge; December, Toyomi Bridge. “In the beginning, these records puzzled the detectives, but in the end they discovered that this was actually a fixed day for each bridge to be washed. It turns out that on the day when the bridge was cleaned, many Tokyoites would spontaneously come to the bridge to help clean the bridge. Hidden among the people washing the bridge, looking at each other from a distance has become the way for the father and daughter to contact each other every month.

The other is “Wings of Kylin”. In the movie, a pair of young lovers come to Tokyo to start a new life. The driver who asked them to take a ride, drove the car all the way to the Nihonbashi, and the driver suggested that they get off here. It turns out that Nihonbashi is the starting point for entering Tokyo. All people who want to enter Tokyo must pass through Nihonbashi and take their first step here. So, the two young men stood still under the unicorn statue in Nihonbashi and began their trek in Tokyo.

I once came to Nihonbashi, it was a slightly gloomy afternoon. Before that, I first visited the Edo-Tokyo Museum. This museum that presents Tokyo’s past and future seems to greatly deepen people’s impression of “Nihonbashi is the beginning of Tokyo”. The entrance is a copy of a wooden Nihonbashi from the Meiji period, restoring the original scene. . Passing by the bridge, you can overlook the bustling streets and lively fish market on both sides of the strait. With this impression, I walked out of the subway and saw this Nihonbashi when I looked back.

Perhaps it is because the highway is pressed against the head. This bridge, which was built in Meiji 44 (1911) and has been renovated since then, does not look very eye-catching. It is surrounded by magnificent banks, stock exchanges and department stores. Against them, Nihonbashi is automatically invisible, and it is difficult to be the object of stopping to watch. And this kind of intuitive impression seems to confirm the indignation of Higashino Keigo in “The Unicorn Wings” for the first time. There, under the guise of a patrolman, he said that he was worried about how tourists from China would look at the beautiful Nihonbashi that was crushed under the highway.

Walking on the Nihonbashi, passing by the Kirin statue, for some reason, the strange remarks of the Japanese architect Shin Isozaki about the city suddenly floated through my mind. In “Urban Destruction Industry KK”, he once proposed that a modern city cannot be destroyed in a physical sense. It is natural to be surprised to hear such words from someone from a country that has experienced the atomic bombing and the Tokyo bombing. However, the basis for his claim is that “a city as a physical entity does not exist on earth at all.” Because “a city is just an abstract concept, it is a mutual agreement between citizens and a virtual image built for use… The power that can eliminate this transmission is not the destruction of the city, but the extinction of civilization.”

In the past, I always felt that this view was too exaggerated and deliberately sensational. And now, standing on this “ordinary” Nihonbashi, thinking about the “Nihonbashi” in the words and images of the various eras that finally attracted me here, I seem to understand that this may be exactly What the Japanese can say openly about their city. The city cherished by the locals, the long meaning of the city deposited by words and images, although not one or two works or albums can be described, but it also reveals a bit of charm, attracting tourists from afar. But the people who really live here participate in the lively bridge washing activities and record and pay attention to the changing Tokyo bridge from time to time. Such a traditional city is not so much built on cold cement and sound and light as it is built on people’s hearts. For tourists who are tempted by charm and come here, they try to grasp and understand the “city” created in the long and long life through the first impression or obsession with the physical environment, and have a quick glance at the reality It is confirmed in this, this is probably the most bizarre and exaggerated illusion.