71 Cultural Assets Damaged by Quake off Fukushima

Society Lifestyle Culture

Zao, Miyagi Pref./ Koriyama, Fukushima Pref., Feb. 18 (Jiji Press)--A powerful earthquake that struck northeastern and eastern regions of Japan late Saturday damaged 71 cultural assets mainly in the prefectures of Fukushima and Miyagi, according to Japan's Cultural Affairs Agency.

At Agatsumake Jutaku, the house of a wealthy farmer in the town of Zao, Miyagi, who served as a village officer in the Edo period (1603-1868), the main building suffered multiple wall cracks and three storehouses saw their earthen walls fall down almost entirely. In Saturday's temblor, upper 6, the second-highest level on Japan's seismic intensity scale, was registered in Zao.

All of these buildings in Zao, constructed in the latter half of the Edo period, have been designated as important properties by the Japanese government. They also suffered similar damage at the time of the March 2011 major earthquake and underwent repair work for two years and eight months.

In the city of Koriyama, Fukushima, where lower 6 was measured in Saturday's quake, the building of a former junior high school, constructed in the Meiji era (1868-1912), suffered a crack in a plaster inner wall and saw flakes fall from the ceiling. A blackboard in a classroom fell down as the facility operator could to secure it to a wall of the school building, which has been registered as an important cultural property.

Among other damaged cultural assets, Zuiganji, a Buddhist temple in the town of Matsushima, Miyagi, whose main building has been designated as a national treasure, had several tiles fall from the roof, while the Nikko Toshogu shrine in the city of Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, saw one of wind bells that were hanging at a hall for "kagura" Shinto music and dance drop.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press