Hoi An Japanese Bridge
Japanese Bridge is crossed by a creek separating the two streets of Tran Phu and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, and according to some recorded documents, this is a bridge built by Japanese merchants for convenience. moving back and forth, trading between Chinese and Japanese streets.
Because there is a shrine on the bridge, people here often call it with the name Japanese Bridge
Japanese Bridge – A beautiful story about the history
According to legend, the Vietnamese, Japanese, and Chinese communities share a common legend about the cause of earthquakes. They believe that in the ocean there is a species of sea monster that the Vietnamese call Cu, the Japanese call Mamazu, the Chinese call Cau Long, it’s head in Japan, it’s tail in India, and it’s back. crossing the slit in Hoi An that the Japanese bridge crosses.
Every time the sea monster thrashed, Japan was an earthquake and Hoi An was not safe so that the Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese could do business in peace. In order to control the Mamazu, the Japanese worshiped the Monkey Gods and the Dog Gods on the two ends of the bridge to “Japanese Bridge” the monster.
The Minh Huong people set up a small temple near the ancient bridge to worship the Northern Emperor Chan Vo, also with the purpose of controlling the Cau Long that caused earthquakes. Therefore, the temple is considered as a sword stabbing the back of the monster Mamazu, making it unable to wag its tail, causing earthquakes.
In 1653, people built an additional part of the pagoda, connected to the northern railing, protruding between the bridge, from which the locals called it Chua Cau. In 1719, Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu visited Hoi An and named the bridge Lai Vien, meaning “friends from far away”. According to the date recorded on the roof beam and the remaining epitaph at the top of the bridge, the bridge was rebuilt in 1817. The temple was probably also built at this time and restored in 1817, 1865, 1915. , 1986!
Attractive features in the architecture of Japanese Bridge
Built by the Japanese, the Japanese Bridge has a special architectural feature of Vietnam.
The first special thing lies in the structure of the bridge. Japanese Bridge is about 18m long and is a tiled bridge – that is, the bridge is roofed with yin and yang tiles on top – a feature of Vietnamese architecture. The Japanese Bridge is quite unique, in the middle is a rainbow-style passageway, on both sides, there is a narrow corridor to make a resort with seven wooden compartments. Rather, the entire pagoda and bridge are made of wood, painted and carved with many delicate motifs in Vietnamese architecture – typically dragons, and at the same time, a little Japanese style.
From a distance, the bridge has a soft curved shape, crossing the Hoai River (a branch of the Thu Bon River). The two bridges have wooden statues of animals standing in adoration, one end is a statue of a dog (the body of a servant), one end is a statue of a monkey (the tengu). The body of the monkey represents the year of construction, and the tengu represents the year of the completion of the work. Legend has it that these are animals that the Japanese have worshiped since ancient times.
Japanese Bridge in Hoi An
In 1719, when Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu visited Hoi An, he saw a special Bridge Pagoda, so he named the bridge Lai Vien, meaning “friends from far away”. Today, we can still see 3 Chinese characters: Lai Vien Kieu embossed on a large board in front of the temple gate.
A special feature of this temple is that the temple does not worship Buddha but worships the North De Tran Vo – the god who protects the country, gives joy and happiness to people, expressing the sacred aspirations that people want to entrust with. Heaven and earth to wish for all good things.
This complex of religious architecture is roofed with many unique T-shaped roofs and is associated with many legends related to people’s happiness, so the folk is used to calling it Japanese Bridge and is a symbol of Japanese – Chinese cultural exchange. Vietnamese in Hoi An. For more than 400 years, the famous and sacred Japanese Bridge is still worshiped by local residents and visitors.
Previously, the Japanese Kieu in architecture and interior decoration contained the imprint of the Phu Tang culture, soft tiled roofs with a downward slope, square columns, beveled arched bridges, decorative patterns in the shape of the sun, the fan… now no longer available. However, God Monkey and Than Hou still worship at both ends of the bridge.
On both sides of the wall of the entrance gate on the west and east of the Japanese bridge, there were originally two embossed Han Chinese couplets, but over the years, they were gradually lost and eventually replaced by Minh Huong people. the embossed pattern of a large Buddha hand.
In 1990, Cau Pagoda was recognized as a National Historic-Cultural Relic. Not only having spiritual significance, the bridge also plays an important role in traffic. Up to now, the temple seems to have become an invaluable asset, officially chosen as the symbol of Hoi An.
With special architecture and history associated with the old town, domestic and foreign tourists coming here do not forget to visit and hear about the Japanese Bridge. As for the local people, the Japanese Bridge is both sacred and the meeting place of the village in the past, hoping for a life of harmony, mutual love.
Coming to Japanese Bridge, you will feel the peaceful moments in Hoi An Ancient Town, the gentleness and antiquity are clearly shown on each sophisticated and skillful carving line, all will bring you great joy. unforgettable emotions when traveling to Hoi An.
Wishing you an enjoyable and enjoyable journey to discover Hoi An!