Nice start. That bridge is indeed huge?
True to character, I am putting things on "paper" before I've done more than a couple of hours of research on feudal Japan, guaranteeing that I will have to go back and change something fundamental half-way into the project.
The first thing I did was create a 3300x5100 300dpi blank in PhotoShop, portrait. I then pasted the rough map on the base layer and resized so it just hit the edges. I played with it for a while, then looked at the image size critically. The only reason to have an image 11x17 is so that the published production is 8.5x11, so it stood to reason that the map would go in landscape.
I started again, changing the orientation (no pun intended). I again pasted the original image and then sized it so that the city itself took up the majority of the vertical expanse of the page and then extended the right bank to give plenty of space for legend.
Satisfied, I threw up a 50% gray layer and then bumped opacity down to 50% so I could see the original image below. I then cut out everything that was water. That brought me to my first challenge: the canals. Canals have two primary purposes other than short cuts and river re-direction. First, they allow water-borne cargo to be moved into the city easily. Second, they make irrigation practical much further away from the river. As there isn't a lot of agriculture going on inside the walls of the city and the rear of the city butts up against rising elevations, the canals I put in are almost exclusively for traffic. I followed the spirit, if not the letter of GP's concept drawing.
I then went in and added wharves and docks. At that point, I decided that my Oten'jo would have a great bridge, and that the lord would control passage up and down the river by means of a mighty chain that would be used to block any craft of significant size attempting to go through the hundred-twenty foot span at the center of the bridge.
This is the image with the original back-lit for your convenience.
And this is my WIP:
### Latest WIP ###
The bridge looks large enough that you could have plenty of houses built on it. I don't know how appropiate that would be for a japanese-styled setting, but buildings-on-bridges certainly is a workable concept, as it has been done in Florence.
Can't think of any other reasons you'd want to have a bridge that wide. Having two carts be able to pass each other should be wide enough for most any ordinary bridge.
Good point Ghostman. Lots of Medieval cities had houses on bridges. They were preferred because they had good sanitation. In some cities there were floating mills under the bridges (the water flowing faster between the bridge pillars). Still, this was all in Europe. Not sure how it was in Japan.
Points well taken. The purpose of the grandeur of the bridge is to overawe and intimidate. The purpose of it's bulk is to make it impassable. However, 200' is more than would be required to make the bridge effectively indestructable. I will give it some thought.
There are examples of Japanese bridging with buildings on it. Though not for a full expanse across a river, though not impossible to imagine. I would think on the city of the river, that is possible, with a narrowing to true bridge site for the remainder. But I'm not the cartographer here, so it all works for me.
I like the toned down bridge. The wood cut effect is nice as well. This is going to be such a fun challenge. Especially if we get a good look into all the entries' processes. I love watching process, and yours is going to be fun to watch.
Something witty and pithy
Immolate, I posted some reference images of bridges in Japan (ukiyo-e prints) in the main Challenge thread - check it out for some ideas.
The effect on the water could be just a bit sharper I think. Otherwise the map base is looking good.