Feb 112013
Crooked street in Matsue

This street in Matsue in northwestern Japan looks like a work of a crazy engineer who bore a grudge against drivers, but in fact it is a modern interpretation of an old idea that was implemented here 400 years ago.

Matsue was a castle town built at the beginning of the Edo period and at that time no one could predict it will bring over 250 years of peace in Japan. Thus the castle and town structure had defense measures implemented and one of those was an intentional crooking of the street called kagigata (鉤型).

It slowed down movement of people, possibly attacking troops, and obscured the view thus allowing an ambush.

The road has been renovated for 400th anniversary of establishing Matsue castle town. I am impressed with the creative way Matsue city council preserved the memory of this place.

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