Repairing Japanese Castles Looks Tricky

Illustration for article titled Repairing Japanese Castles Looks Trickyem/em
Screenshot: 4011tama1

In April 2016, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake hit Kumamoto, Japan. The region’s famed castle was badly damaged, but rebuilding is underway. It looks tricky.

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Kumamoto Castle, which was originally built in 1607, was attacked during an 1877 rebellion, with parts of it, including the keep, burned down.

This photo dates from May 2009.
This photo dates from May 2009.
Photo: 663highland (Creative Commons)
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This photo also dates from May 2009.
This photo also dates from May 2009.
Photo: 663highland (Creative Commons)

The 1889 Kumamoto Earthquake damaged what remained. In 1960, the castle was restored, with the keep reconstructed in concrete.

This photo shows the damaged turret and dates from April 18, 2016.
This photo shows the damaged turret and dates from April 18, 2016.
Photo: hyolee2 (Creative Commons)

The April 16 quake of 2016 damaged those reconstructions.

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Here is what one of the turrets looked like after the quake. In the above GIF (and below clip), you can see how it is being rebuilt.

According to Kyodo, the turret now sits on reinforced frames.

Illustration for article titled Repairing Japanese Castles Looks Trickyem/em
Screenshot: 4011tama1
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Illustration for article titled Repairing Japanese Castles Looks Trickyem/em
Screenshot: 4011tama1
Illustration for article titled Repairing Japanese Castles Looks Trickyem/em
Screenshot: 4011tama1
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4011tama1As you can see, this is a massive project.

Construction is slated to conclude in 2021.


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

dan-the-man
Dan.the.Man

At this point, it’s less historic than a made-up Disney medieval castle. Sure, it may look like the original from the outside, but the core, the thing that made it historic and valuable, is gone. It’s almost a circus attraction.