Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs released a new list of “damages to cultural properties” as a result of the recent Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The updated number now includes 353 damaged cultural landmarks, including temples, historic sites, natural monuments and “places of scenic beauty.”
Ibaraki, home to numerous castle ruins and one of Japan’s three most celebrated gardens, tops the toll of damaged sites at 87, including the Former Kokokan School. According to the report, “The earthquake broke the alarm bell completely,” and “the tiles over the roofs of the fences fell down completely.”
The iconic landscape region Matsushima and its coastal villages Shichigahama and Shiogama, all designated Special Places of Scenic Beauty, suffered some of the most extensive damage. Just east of the the earthquake’s offshore 9.0 epicenter and just north of ravaged Sendai, the region is reported to have as many as 22,000 either dead or missing. Among the sites damaged in the region is National Treasure Zuigan Temple, which is suffering from cracks in the walls.
Three other National Treasures are reported as damaged, including Osaki Hachiman Shrine in Sendai, Amida Hall in Iwaki, and Buddha Hall of Seihaku Temple in Yamanashi.
In Tokyo, the Mori Art Museum and Tokyo National Museum are not reported to have any serious damage, yet both have closed temporarily to conserve electricity and power consumption.
Photo courtesy of Elena Gurzhiy via Flickr
Photo above is of Matsushima, a designated "Special Place of Scenic Beauty," which is among some of the heavily damaged cultural sites in Japan.