Road Stories

When Hokusai Painted Bridges

Illustrations © The Sumida Hokusai Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Bridges are a part of our history: human beings have built bridges since ancient times to overcome the natural obstacles posed by rivers and gorges, to facilitate travel and communication. Over the centuries, political and technological constraints have resulted in the development of types and structures for bridges specific to particular eras. In the past, for example, bridges were built of wood or stone. Today, steel is the primary material.