The first sewerage system in Japan can be seen in the large communities in the Yayoi Period (approximately 2,200 years ago). In the Nara Period (about 1,300 years ago), a drainage system network ran throughout the city in the Heijo-kyo capital area. In the Azuchi-momoyama Period (approximately 430 years ago), a stone culvert called the Taiko Sewerage was built around Osaka Castle. It is still in use today.

The first modern sewerage system in Japan was the Kanda Sewerage, which was built in 1884 in the Kanda area of Tokyo. In 1922, the first wastewater treatment plant, the Mikawashima Treatment Plant, was built. The construction of sewerage systems did not start in earnest until the end of World War II (1945)

Source: Making Great Breakthroughs – All about the Sewage Works in Japan (Japan Sewage Works Association: Tokyo, ca. 2002), P. 47.

Making Great Breakthroughs – All about the Sewage Works in Japan (Japan Sewage Works Association: Tokyo, ca. 2002), pp. 1-56.

This article is a general overview of Japanese sewerage works in the past and in modern times.

See pages 46-47 for section on sewage history in Japan.

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