lifestyle

Condo to loom over samurai graves, spurring protest

28 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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28 Comments
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Nothing new here. Read Alex Kerr for all the exhausting detail you can stand.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

****This Cultural Asset should be protected by the ward as it is a cultural asset for the whole world. Not just Japan and not just for the ward it is in. Surely common sense should prevail. Would the ward around the Golden Pavilion or Kiyomizu Dera in Kyoto allow buildings to tower over it ??? I think NOT. ****

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What is wrong with Japanese municipalities or even the national government that they can't establish historical preservation zones? Central Paris still looks as it does because of zoning that protects the 18th and 19th Century core of the city. The Americans were convinced to not bomb Kyoto, Nara and Kanazawa. Why are the Japanese so blase about ruining sites like these?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan don't destroy your heritage simply for progress. In time you will rue losing special places as your culture as this is what makes Japan special.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Three centuries seems plenty of time for the temple to have bought up surrounding property, if they didn't want to be overshadowed. Where'd all the tithes go?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Not siding with the condo makers by any means but souvenir shops nearby are OK though, huh?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

47 Ronin meet your new master - the Daiichi Realtor Corp.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Why are they protesting now, when the building is already bring build.

Takes time to buy a property, submit building plans and get all the permits approved. Wanted to buy a house but turned it down as there was a plan to build a 12 story apartment next to it 5yrs later.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's a shame but the it's the memory of what happened that is really important.

BTW, Ako Castle (partially reconstructed) is well worth the visit.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The graves and temple won't be touched, they are complaining about the adjacent property.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What is wrong with Japanese municipalities or even the national government that they can't establish historical preservation zones? Central Paris still looks as it does because of zoning that protects the 18th and 19th Century core of the city. The Americans were convinced to not bomb Kyoto, Nara and Kanazawa. Why are the Japanese so blase about ruining sites like these?

To answer your question: respect of private property is much stronger in Japan than in Europe or North America.

Paris is not a good example. It is a mummified corpse of a city with housing that are not built to modern standards and that is one of the most expensive on Earth because of that very zoning. The city cannot grow and evolve to answer the needs of its changing population. The zoning that protects Paris works on the same logic as the zoning that protects soulless American subdivisions: once an area is built, it must be protected ad vitam aeternam from change and kept in that form no matter what.

The Japanese approach makes more economic sense and places the interests and needs of current and future generations above previous generation, and that's not such a bad thing.

In this particular case, there may be a point to preserve access to the sun around recognized historical landmarks, but I'm wary of passing arbitrary laws or intervening arbitrarily. I think people need to think about the issue intelligently and apply a rule for all such landmarks, keeping in mind the impact this may have on housing affordability and the ability of areas to adapt to the needs of current and future generations.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@kchoze I'm in favor of intervening arbitrarily. Economists are incapable of valuing things like history because it involves human dignity rather than treating humans like robots.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Three centuries seems plenty of time for the temple to have bought up surrounding property, if they didn't want to be overshadowed. Where'd all the tithes go?

Good point! These monks make bank (mostly from funerals). It's pretty disgusting how some of them flaunt their extravagant lifestyles with fancy cars, etc. God forbid they spend it on protecting their own temple, or the ambiance in this case.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan doesn't know how to enjoy something until it's gone or near extinction. It doesn't matter if we're talking about a jam packed tour when they finally get home and enjoy the trip through the pictures, or lamenting the loss of old culture and wondering what happened after agreeing themselves to destroy it. Why should this ronin grave-yard be any different when things far greater than it have been suffering for ages for the same reason?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Their bodies are most likely not even there. Just stones there. This apartment is being built for people that are alive and need a place to live. Who comes first? Dead people or living people?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Never understood why the 47 are considered heroes. Their lord was a hot headed idiot that couldn't control himself. His underlings were not smart enough to pay a bribe to make the lord's life easier. It took too long, 2 years, for the 47 to claim it for honor instead of revenge. The Shogun only yielded to the ignorant public support to let the 47 die with honor even though they did not follow bushido. In a time of peace, their clan was out of step with the times.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The ghosts of the 47 ronin will continue their vendetta against the condo owners

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Christopher Glen: The ghosts of the 47 ronin will continue their vendetta against the condo owners

What'll they do if a little kid tinkles off the balcony?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Cortes Elijah

Who comes first? Dead people or living people?

Dead people if I had my way. I don't dispute that society owes everyone room and board, but not at the expense of history.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What'll they do if a little kid tinkles off the balcony?

I believe my sense of irony was missed.

Well I hope a successful solution to this building dilemma is found

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Too late for a solution, Daiichi has too much invested in that 8 story building, which I assume is rather large and not just high.

Shinagawa and surrounding areas are undergoing a building boom right now to cater for the affluent young workforce.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“People who come and pray here, including tourists from abroad, can’t believe why this is being allowed"

Whereas people who live here know exactly how this came about. Construction company + under-the-table cash = approval.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Some thing should be just left all alone, and this is one of them!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nobody is touching the Graves or the Shrine, private property separate from the Condo another private property.

The Zen Buddhist Shrine in Kichijoji is very tranquil and sits right in the shopping area next to the Sunroad.

I am sure the shop owners will still whine when the new Condo Residents want to shop there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seems like alot of westerners here are getting pretty upset about this. Where is Keanu Reaves and his millions when you need him?

I wonder how many of you have actually been there and made a substantial donation to this temple?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In NYC you can buy/sell the "air rights" over your building. ==> problem solved.

Never understood why the 47 are considered heroes. Their lord was a hot headed idiot that couldn't control himself. His underlings were not smart enough to pay a bribe to make the lord's life easier. It took too long, 2 years, for the 47 to claim it for honor instead of revenge. The Shogun only yielded to the ignorant public support to let the 47 die with honor even though they did not follow bushido. In a time of peace, their clan was out of step with the times.

It kept the Gov (local) in check to the people. What would you have done?

Example: Your leader inflates the currency and raises workers taxes. Do you take your fiat money out and put it in Swiss Franc? (all other currencies inflated previously to your inflation => will only work with one) Or protest in the street? Or do nothing?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If construction has begun the petition is too late. With the general mixed use nature of the built environment in Japan this sort of thing is inevitable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Personally think the Shrine Owner should think of additional ways to attract Visitors, works for many other Shrines and Temples.

Another example is Mozennakacho both Hachiman and the Zen Buddhist Shrine are right in front of the elevated Highway, none cares about view.

Both can get very busy at times.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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