Like many other waterways from the Japanese cities, the Dotonbori canal from Osaka wasn’t a natural water stream. Its construction was the idea of a local entrepreneur, Doton Yasui, who hoped that a canal will enhance the commercial activities in the area. He managed to get the construction started in 1612, but died soon after, during the Siege of Osaka, fighting on the side of Toyotomi Hideyori. The canal was finished after the war, in 1615, by a relative of him and although he fought on the losing side, the new lord of the Osaka Castle, Tadaki Matsudaira, named the new canal after him (Dotonbori translates as “Doton’s canal").
Doton’s vision proved true, a thriving commercial area developed around the canal, filled today with numerous stores and Osaka’s best restaurants. In this photo stands out the building of the Japanese discount chain store Don Quijote (the one with the yellow decoration shaped like a Ferris wheel), a chain store with a predilection for unusual buildings, considering its “samurai-helmet” building from Roppongi.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: