The opening of the chrysanthemum: Japan’s tamed rivers

River in Nikko, Japan (@ Flick/Ana Paul Hirama)


In the second half of the 19th century, the Meiji Restoration in Japan was moving the country from a medieval agricultural economy to an industrialised one. It was a time of tremendous change and innovation in the land of the Rising Sun. A significant contribution to that change was made by a handful of Dutch engineers who were invited to Japan to improve the systems of the 3000 rivers in the country that were the cause of devastating yearly floods. Dheera Sujan took a trip through Japan’s waterways.

Producer: Dheera Sujan

Broadcast: April 2, 2002