Field Trip to Sayama

Nov 04, 2011 (Fri.)

On October 29 Dr. Yutaka Horiba's class made a field trip to Sayama-ike Museum in Osaka Prefecture that commemorates Japan's first irrigation dam constructed during the 7th century. The Sayama-ike reservoir overlooking the Osaka plains served as a point of water control, and ingenious water control devices developed such as water intake mechanisms, levee reinforcement, and extensive wooden planks and underground piping system are exhibited at the museum.

Dr. Horiba served as a tour guide for the group and gave an historical account of the significance of this construction project that contributed to flood control and dramatically improved productivity in rice cultivation in the area. It is one of the earliest examples of a successful application of civil engineering technology to productivity growth in the Japanese economic history.

The museum was designed by the renowned architect Sadao Ando, featuring large exterior walls and waterfall. Indoor exhibits include a restored cross section of the 15-meter high levee and countless archeological finds at the site. More details on the exhibit can be found at:

Dr. Yutaka Horiba, Asian Studies Program