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2019: Shuri Castle and Japanese Castles

Source: The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 17 | Issue 24 | Number 3 | Article ID 5334 | Dec 15, 2019
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus.

Shuri Castle and Japanese Castles: A Controversial Heritage
Oleg Benesch, Ran Zwigenberg

"On October 31, 2019, a massive fire tore through the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shuri Castle in Okinawa, sparking a global reaction and comparisons with the recent fire at Notre Dame, another World Heritage site. As in the case of Notre Dame, government officials immediately declared their intention to rebuild, and donations flooded in from throughout Japan and other countries. The scale of the response to Shuri Castle is also a reflection of the position of castles as some of Japan’s most popular and important heritage sites. This could recently be seen in the case of the Kumamoto Earthquake of 2016, a major disaster which killed at least fifty people and injured thousands more. Amidst the extensive destruction and loss of life, it was drone footage of the damaged towers of the Kumamoto Castle keep (tenshu) and walls that was shown by major news agencies around the world. The castle, which had long been an important site of local pride and identity, quickly became the symbol of both the earthquake and subsequent efforts by Kumamoto residents to rebuild and recover. ..."

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