Number of Damaged Cultural Sites in Japan Rises to 353

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.

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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.


Maarja L.
Maarja L6 years ago

That's too sad. Japan is a very beautiful country.

Loo Samantha
Loo sam6 years ago

thanks for sharing

Ferrell S.
Ferrell S.6 years ago

When will we ever learn. How can anyone believe now, that nuclear energy is an option. The money it takes to build a new nuclear power plant could go toward solar, wind, hydro research and developement. Keep the movement going, sign petitions, tell more nukes. EVER. Amen.

Janina L.
Janina L6 years ago

I do not want to sound callous, but...
Karma got them - lack of environmental consideration.
Now they are in the " COVE' - how does it feel? And if the cannot eat all the whales - they will radiate them...

Ioana Boca
Ioana B6 years ago

so sadly noted

Tommy H.
Tommy S6 years ago

Sorry for the children. Not the adults. Sadly man will keep going in the wrong dirrection. They are only the start of the change coming. Do you really think they will be able to contain the radiation? It is already spreading around the world. Just like the oil spill because you can't see it they will not say anything.
Do you really think any one knows how bad it is going to be other then God.

gerlinde p.
gerlinde p6 years ago

very sad situation.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago

Deeply saddening!

Leia P.
Leia P.6 years ago

an entire country has been wiped off the planet

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M6 years ago

This certainly is a tragedy losing such beautiful and historical sites. Sadly though they are close to four earthquake zones. I wonder why they built these Nuclear Reactors so close to the ocean? They had walls built all around, but now they know that with 30' tsunami waves they are not enough. They should be doing geological studies, before they start to rebuild, that is if they can control their nuclear plants. Since the Japanese are suffering through all of this, most people are realizing just how dangerous nuclear power is and hope they find other ways to produce the power in highly dense populations.