New "Shachihoko" Ornaments for Quake-Hit Kumamoto Castle Unveiled (News)
Kumamoto, Aug. 30 (Jiji Press)—New shachihoko ornaments for the towers of Kumamoto Castle in the city of Kumamoto went on display Wednesday at a tourist facility near the castle, which was heavily damaged by powerful earthquakes in April last year.
Jolted by the quakes, a total of four sculptures of shachihoko—imaginary tiger-headed fish—that were made in 2008 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the castle plunged from the rooftops of the connected main and smaller castle towers, suffering damage when they landed.
Roof-tile maker Fujimoto Onigawara, which made the previous sculptures and is based in Uki, Kumamoto Prefecture, spent half a year producing two pairs of new ornaments to replace the previous ones.
The shachihoko sculptures for the main tower are 119 centimeters tall and weigh 100 kilograms each, while the pair for the smaller tower are 86 centimeters tall and weigh 70 kilograms.
"I want viewers to enjoy their faces, such as the bulging eyes, which I feel are more humorous than the features on other shachihoko," Fujimoto Onigawara head Fujimoto Kōsuke said at an unveiling event.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]