The National Police Agency says that 24 temples and shrines in six prefectures have recently suffered from vandalism in which an oil-like substance was splattered onto walls.
In many cases, the targets were UNESCO World Heritage sites and national treasures, Fuji TV reported Saturday.
Nara prefecture had the most cases -- 14. The most recent damage was discovered at Todaiji Temple in Nara on Friday. Staff found in seven locations marks made by a similar oil-like substance that was used at other temples and shrines since February.
Stains were found on the South Gate, on the large wooden guardian statues and on the pedestal of the towering Daibutsu (Great Buddha). All these areas of Todaiji Temple are considered national treasures for their historical and cultural significance.
Other temples in the Kansai region that suffered from similar cases of vandalism include Nijo Castle (Kyoto) and the Tanukidanisan Fudoin Temple, also in Kyoto, at which four different areas of the compound were discovered to have been splattered with an oil-like substance, the NPA said. In Shizuoka, the Mishima Grand Shrine was vandalized.
Three sites in Chiba Prefecture, including Naritasan Shinshoji Temple, were damaged, police said.© Japan Today