Shingen Zutsumi

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Shingen Zutsumi on the Kamanashi River is a series of dikes (tsutsumi) said to have been constructed on the orders of preeminent sixteenth-century warlord Takeda Shingen. A renowned strategist, Shingen thought it advantageous to limit damage from the two once highly flood-prone rivers that flow through the Kofu Basin: the Kamanashi and Midai.

Shingen’s dikes were later bolstered by the local community with the wood and stone-based apparatuses you can still see interspersed along this stretch of riverbank. These are called seigyu, which translates as “holy cow”; the name comes from their supposedly cow-like shape. The “holy cow” design, said to have originated here, became a key element of flood defense across Japan, and can be considered a predecessor of the concrete tetrapods used today.

Shingen Zutsumi Park offers a picturesque, mountain range-backed view out over these historic attempts to tame once-wild waterways. Another “holy cow” stands here for closer inspection.


Venue Address

Ryuo, Kai-shi

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