The View from Maruko Bridge aand Bruno Taut’s Admiration

“Omagari is a small town. When I arrived, it was already approaching midnight. The snow was piling up just like in Yokote and the houses were of the typical Akita style. The most beautiful sight was the moonlit landscape from the top of the bridge. It was less of a landscape, more of a painting. Even so, I hadn’t seen a painting quite like that.” (Excerpts from “Winter in Akita” in Bruno Taut’s The Rediscovery of Japanese Beauty)
German architect Bruno Taut wrote this during his visit to Omagari on a wintery full moon night on February 7, 1936. His visit was to witness the Bamboo Fight Festival in Rokugo and the Tug-of-War Festival in Omagari. Taut marveled at the sight from Maruko Bridge in the blistering cold of -12–15℃, remarking that he was “unable to depict such a beauty.” The bridge can be seen on the left side of this building facing the Omagari Station. Although the surrounding structures have changed with time, traces of the Maruko River snowscape that Taut viewed are still present.
Bruno Taut (May 4, 1880 – December 24, 1938)
Bruno Taut is an expressionist architect and urban planner born in German Konigsberg, East Prussia. He is best known for the Trager-Verkaufs-Kontor pavilion (1910) and Glass Pavilion (1914). To escape Nazi Germany, Taut took refuge in Japan from 1933. During his three-and-a-half-year stay, he traveled around the country and commended the traditional architecture and cultural sense of beauty. He famously introduced the Katsura Imperial Palace to the world. For the four months between November 1933 and March 1934, Taut served as an advisor to the National Institute of Art in Sendai, Miyagi. He visited Akita twice, in 1935 and 1936.