'Tsujunkyo'

ʏuʏ̓viJapanese) ʏˋZpiJapanese)

Located in Yabe town, Kumamoto prefecture 'Tsujunkyo' is the name given to one of the largest stone aqueduct bridges in Japan. Built in 1854 with contributions from local farmers this simple but elegant bridge was designed to bring vital water to the area for  irrigation. Before the construction of 'Tsujunkyo' the area suffered often from famine due to the shortage of water.

76 metres long and 21 metres high, the aqueduct carries water in 3 channels. Ducts in the sides of the bridge can be opened to clean the channels, resulting in a spectacular discharge of water into the ravine below. Surrounded by beautiful countryside 'Tsujunkyo' is well worth a visit.


The Higo Stone Bridge Preservation Society aims to stimulate interest in and educate the public about the many examples of superb stone masonry in Kumamoto.

We would like the Japanese Government to submit a nomination to UNESCO that 'Tsujunkyo' be designated a World Heritage site. The criteria for World Heritage status are as follows:

  1.  It must represent a masterpiece of human genius; or
  2.  exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design; or
  3.  bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared; or
  4.  be an outstanding example of of a type of building or architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history; or
  5.  be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement or land-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change; or
  6.  be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance(the committee considers that this criterion should justify inclusion in the List only in exceptional circumstances and in conjunction with other criteria cultural or natural)

If you would like to help us with our campaign ,are interested in joining The Higo Stone Bridge Society or would like more information on examples of traditional stone masonry in Kumamoto please contact us.

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