Shuri Castle, following the fire Photo: Furusato Choice
national

Crowdfunding campaign to rebuild fire-ravaged Shuri Castle raises over Y290 mil

24 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

On Oct 31, Japan woke up to heartbreaking news. At some point in the pre-dawn hours, a fire had broken out at Okinawa’s Shuri Castle, and photos and video of the blaze showed three of the cultural site’s structures in their final moments before the buildings burned to the ground.

Shuri Castle has long been the symbol of Japan’s most far-flung prefecture, in both literal and figurative senses. Not only is it one of the most popular tourism attractions for both locals and out-of-prefecture travelers, Shuri Castle’s architecture is unlike that of any other castle on Japan’s main islands, as the construction mixes Japanese traditions with influences from other Asian countries, in much the same way that Okinawa was, for centuries, a point of intersection for various Asian Pacific societies.

Okinawa governor Denny Tamaki has vowed to rebuild Shuri Castle, which has been destroyed or dismantled multiple times prior to last week’s fire. Such an undertaking won’t be cheap, though, and Okinawa’s capital city of Naha (in which Shuri Castle is located) has established a crowdfunding campaign to accept restoration donations. The campaign, which opened on the evening of November 1, one day after the fire, was initially seeking 100 million yen ($926,000) in donations. In just thee days, though, it has collected more than double that amount, with the total amount pledged at 291,188,789 yen as of Monday morning.

While any and all amounts are surely appreciated, the number of donors currently stands at 14,144, which works out to an especially generous average contribution of over 14,000 yen per person. Donors have left comments including:

“I don’t leave anywhere near Shuri Castle, but my thoughts are with the Okinawan people.”

“I’m honored to be able to help Okinawa, in some small way, to recover from this tragedy.”

“It may take a long time, but I look forward to seeing the beautiful symbol of Okinawa again one day.”

“When I go back to visit my home town in Okinawa every year, I always visit Shuri Castle, and it gives me strength. Thinking of how I won’t be able to do that next year makes me so sad.”

While the native Okinawan commenter is likely correct in that repair work is unlikely to be finished before the end of next year, Tamaki has expressed an aspirational timeline for the reconstruction. 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of Okinawa’s return to the Japanese civilian government following decades of U.S. military administration following World War II, and the governor hopes that Shuri Castle will be completely rebuilt in time for the festivities.

The crowdfunding campaign is scheduled to run until March 31, and its website can be found here.

Sources: NHK News Web, Furusato Choice via Naha City

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Fire breaks out near Japan’s Shirakawa-go World Heritage site【Videos】

-- Coca-Cola Japan brings out a new design bottle exclusive to Okinawa

-- Okinawa’s captivating city halls will make you wonder what floor the final boss is lurking at

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
Login to comment

Nice to see the world responding! Thank you from all of us here in Okinawa!

I hope to see the "new" Shuri Castle in my lifetime!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Was Shuri Castle not insured?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

322,175,613円 Going up rather nicely! Thank you!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And yet there are still people in Fukushima living in temporary accommodation eight years after the disaster.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

And yet there are still people in Fukushima living in temporary accommodation eight years after the disaster.

Yes there are, and they need assistance too, yet it's not wrong for the people of Okinawa to start rebuilding either!

Are you suggesting they wait ?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And yet there are still people in Fukushima living in temporary accommodation eight years after the disaster.

There are about 11,000 nuclear evacuee's living in temporary accommodation, mostly older people who have refused new government housing because they want to return to their original communities, which they cannot. The government will end all temporary accommodations next spring. There are a further 30,000 who left the prefecture and do not want to return.

All of the people in the temporary accommodation received rent free accommodation plus about ¥100,000 support payments for the past 8 years.

Many have also received compensation for the loss of their homes and properties but others have complained about receiving nothing although promised by TEPCO.

This crowdfunding has no connection with Fukushima or the central and Okinawa governments.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

They can rebuild, but it’ll never be the same. But it was great while it lasted.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

They can rebuild, but it’ll never be the same. But it was great while it lasted.

It's been rebuilt 5 times already in history and was "never" the same afterwards, it was in fact better.

"Great while it lasted"? I would say it will be better the next time! I will also bet you wont know the difference either!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

They can rebuild, but it’ll never be the same. But it was great while it lasted.

Then you should know that numerous important castles, temples and shrines suffered great loss at the hands of fire over the many centuries and each time rebuilt.

Much of the country was totally destroyed by the American war bombing.

Fortunately, the Shuri Castle was rebuilt in modern times and there are extensive plans and photos available. The most difficult part is securing the right materials like timber, roof tiles etc.

It will one day soon be great again and just as significant as it ever was.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It's been rebuilt 5 times already in history and was "never" the same afterwards, it was in fact better.

Yes Yubari, it will be better and with modern technology, sprinkler systems can be add unobtrusively.

Same goes with Notre Dame.

...and, as my Daddy always used to say "Never, ever scrimp on insurance".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Then you should know that numerous important castles, temples and shrines suffered great loss at the hands of fire over the many centuries and each time rebuilt.

I’m not talking about other castles, I’m talking about and specifically about Shuri castle.

It will one day soon be great again and just as significant as it ever was

Well, we shall see.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

I'm I’m not talking about other castles, I’m talking about and specifically about Shuri castle.

That's been rebuilt five times.

Well, we shall see.

Do you think they won't rebuild it to thecsame specifications, or that they'll paint it bright pink? Why would you doubt that it will be as great and significant as it was? (I know you have an obsessive compulsion to argue, but give it a rest for once.)

5 ( +6 / -1 )

While the intentions are good I would wait to donate to more official sources. Crowdfunding it notoriously shady and not to be trusted.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That's been rebuilt five times.

I know.

Why would you doubt that it will be as great and significant as it was?

I just do various reasons.

(I know you have an obsessive compulsion to argue, but give it a rest for once.)

Ditto

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I just do various reasons.

Which are? Nothing of consequence right? Because it just sounds like you are interested in talking BS without knowing what you are talking about.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Fortunately, the Shuri Castle was rebuilt in modern times and there are extensive plans and photos available. The most difficult part is securing the right materials like timber, roof tiles etc.

The bigger problem is the craftsmen, not the materials really, and they are "lucky" as in this time they wont need to do any research, as was necessary in the original restoration.

It pretty much will come down to money and time!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Which are?

Too numerous to get into.

Because it just sounds like you are interested in talking BS without knowing what you are talking about.

Sadly, you’re wrong. But I’m sorry, I’m allowed to not agree and express my doubts.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

bass4funk: "They can rebuild, but it’ll never be the same. But it was great while it lasted."

Dude, you talk like it was the original, when it was just a remake. It'll be exactly the same, but slightly more durable and cleaner.

Anyway, I do hope they get it rebuilt in time for the commemoration of the return of Okinawa to Japan. I'm sure they can. People comparing this to Notre Dame, though, and some have, is very weak, though.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The big reforming of the Himeji Castle roof and other areas was completed by the various highly skilled craftspeople. Travelled there several times to watch them work, which was open to the public. 2009-2015.

The "Major Heisei Restoration". The restoration work was made by the Kajima Corporation.

https://www.kajima.co.jp/english/tech/himeji_castle/index.html

We were able to visit the castle before the restoration, during and after.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I suppose a Trump supporter would have little knowledge of what Japanese castles and ancient sites are. His master Trump stated in his State of the Union address that the Brits had airfields back in 1750. And again told the visiting Italian president that Americans and Romans have had relationships going back thousands of years.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Dude, you talk like it was the original,

I never said nor implied that.

when it was just a remake. It'll be exactly the same, but slightly more durable and cleaner.

I hope so.

I suppose a Trump supporter would have little knowledge of what Japanese castles and ancient sites are.

Or maybe they have extensive knowledge

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This is furusato nouzei isn't it. For those who do not know, its a unique system in Japan where you can pay your local taxes to a place where you do not live. Most people do this because they get a gift from the place who receives the diverted taxes. Some gifts can be worth 30% or more of the diverted tax. If you use this system, the local authority where you live loses that amount of local tax. If this sounds like a crazy system, rewarding people for not paying their local taxes to the place they live, all I can say is do not shoot the messenger.

Anyway, all that explanation is for me to point out that the money Okinawa is getting here is not typical "crowdfunding", extra money people have donated out of kindness. It is redirected taxation that people would just have to pay somewhere else, usually the town that collects their garbage, educates their kids, runs buses for old dears, maintains their roads etc. People sending money in this way is not especially a sign of generosity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wasn’t the palace insured for fire? Perhaps, it was such a tinder box with inadequate fire safety standards that no insurance company would touch it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This crowdfunding has no connection with Fukushima or the central and Okinawa governments.

Actually it does, it was set up by the city of Naha through the furuzato-nozei system. as rightly noted by kohakuebisu.

THIS is a private crowd funding site set up by university students here in Okinawa! They have received 2,434,500yen so far!

https://en.japankurufunding.com/projects/shurijo-castle/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites