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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ancient Drain Found in Earthen Wall at Kyoto Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

20130726110131bbb111御土居に暗渠取水口 北野天満宮、発掘調査で確認

Within the grounds of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, an ancient drain has been discovered in a defensive wall built hundreds of years ago.

To protect against invasion, warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi built an earthen wall around most of central Kyoto. Construction began in 1591, and when complete the wall was 8.5 km from south to north, and 3.5 km east to west. The total length was 22.5 km (14 miles).

Most of the wall has been destroyed in the ensuing centuries. However, at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine a small section remains.

The city's archeological department has been digging there, and recently found a drain attached to the wall that would carry rain water into a nearby river.

The opening of the drain is 0.4 meters high by 0.6 meters wide. It is 19.3 meters long.

In a map dating from 1702, the drains that fed water into the Kamiya River, which is just to the west of the shrine, are shown. Using that information, the excavation work finally found the actual stone drains.


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