Tamagawa Josui and Osamu Dazai.

may21 028

From Hamura city website

At the beginning of the Bakufu military government (1603-1868), drinking water for Edo (Modern Tokyo) was supplied by the fresh water reservois of Kanda and Akasaka, but as the city grew, a greater volume of drinking water was needed. In the time of Ietsuna, the fourth shogun, the Bakufu ordered the two brothers, Shoemon and Seiemon, to have water brought to Edo from the Tama River, which cut across Musashino, west of Edo. Construction began in April of 1653. In November of that year excavation was finished for the Yotsuya Ohkido canal, approximately 43 kilometers in length, and the Tamagawa Johsui (Tama River Water Supply) was complete. In addition to supplying drinking water for the one millions citizens of Edo at the time, it was also integral for the development of Musashino.
 Nowadays, the Hamura Dike at the entrance of the Tama River water supply remains dear to the hearts of our citizens as a precious place of inherited culture.

Tamagawa Josui was made for water supply for metropolitan people. Edo was the biggest city in the world at that times so they needed more water. you can read about historical facts here.

Now you can not see Tamagawa Josui itself in center of Tokyo because it is below the ground in there. But you can still enjoy walking along the river to enjoy views and smell in suburb area.

If you are familiar with Japanese modern literature, you might know Osamu Dazai was died in Tamagawa Josui. His death was known as suicide but infact, his girlfriend Tomie Yamazaki dragged in him. He tried to kill himself with girlfriend many times but always ended up with girlfriend’s death and his survival. This time, he tried to get away but Tomie didn’t allow it. He was buried in Zenrinji(Mitaka city). Upon his request, he was buried in diagonally opposite to Ogai Mori‘s grave.
June 19, the day of his birthday and his dead body founded, is called 桜桃忌(Outou-ki. Outou means cherry) from one of his work.

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