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The Floating Bridge of Dreams ★★

The Floating Bridge of Dreams was written by Ota Nampo. Born into a samurai family, he expressed his literary talents in satirical forms, such as kyoka and kibyoshi. The focus of this story is Eitai Bridge. Two hundred meters long and six meters wide, it was the biggest bridge in Edo. In 1807, during the Fukagawa Hachiman festival, the bridge collapsed under the weight of sightseers who had flocked from all over Edo. Over 400 people died. They included a woman who went to the festival to spite her unfaithful husband. In the wake of the accident, painful farewells and chance meetings fill the city with drama. In this level-headed account, Nampo looks at the causes and effects of an unprecedented disaster.

和訳: 1808年頃に書かれた「夢の浮橋」。作者は大田南畝(おおた・なんぽう)。武士の家に生まれ、狂歌や黄表紙といった滑稽のジャンルで文芸の才能を発揮した。舞台となった永代橋(えいたいばし)は、隅田川にかかる全長200メートル、幅6メートルの江戸第一の橋。1807年、深川八幡宮の祭礼で、江戸市中から見物客が詰めかけたことが原因で永代橋が落下。400人以上の犠牲者を出した。夫の浮気の腹いせに、祭りに出かけ亡くなってしまった妻。事故が生んだ別れや出会いのドラマが街にあふれた。この未曾有の大参事を、南畝は冷静にみつめ事故の実態と意味を書きとめた。

From NHK’s J-Bungaku