The Present Situation in the ‘Nakadori Area’ in Fukushima Prefecture

The article from the blog of the Fukushima Network for Preserving for Historical Materials

—The situation in the Nakadori(*1) area

The energy condition is gradually improving as petrol is available but limited per customer. So we could slowly get information about the extent of damage since around yesterday. We are grateful to all the people who contributed by giving us their information. This is the report about the present situation of the Nakadori area which we can grasp as of today. Many institutions and cultural properties are urgently in need of rescue.

[ Sukagawa City ]

(1) Among the repositories for cultural properties in the former Naganuma area, two prefab repositories were washed away and completely destroyed due to the bursting of Fujinuma Lake. The archaeological artefacts and folklore articles which were stored in them disappeared.

(2) The main building of the same repositories was also half washed away by the burst, so it is facing the danger of collapsing as a result we cannot enter there.

[ Kuoori Town ]

(1) The whitewashed warehouses and roofs of the Japanese traditional house were gravely damaged.

(2) The Public Hall of the former Date Country also suffered from the quake.

(3) As for the other materials, many stone-made materials were affected.

[ Fukushima City ]

(1) The Takeya Guesthouse and Miyashita Town Church which were designated by the Government Agency for Cultural Affairs as traditional structures were damaged seriously. Miyashita Town Church has started to crack into pieces.

(2) The Photograph Gallery “The Flower Photo Studio” which had not been designed as earthquake-resistant has been closed for the duration.

(3) The other closed museums and institutions are as follows; Fukushima Prefectural Art Museum, Fukushima Prefectural Library, Fukushima Prefectural Cultural Centre, Fukushima Prefectural Historical Archives.

(4) In the Research Room for cultural properties in Fukushima City, 30 pieces of pottery were damaged. As for the collections which were excavated in former Iino Town, around 10 items of pottery suffered.

(5) The collections of the Yamashita Town Researching Room and Watari Storage Room funded by the Fukushima Prefectural Foundation for Culture are all safe. Some apparatus was broken though.

(6) In the exhibition room of the Fukushima City “Fureal Museum”, some of the equipment and collections were slightly damaged.

(7) The glass of the Compilation Room for city history was wrecked.

[ Nihonmatsu City ]

(1) In the Historical Museum, approximately 10 items of pottery were broken. The cases of the hanging scrolled pictures were partially damaged. The structure of the museum is safe although it is now closed due to water-leakage.

(2) In Chieko(*2) Memorial Museum, although a display case was broken, it didn’t affect the exhibits, so that museum is now open as usual.

(3) Chusaku Ooyama(*3) Gallery is closed due to some damage to the display facilities, although the exhibits are all safe.

[ Shirakawa City ]

(1) In Fukushima Prefectural Cultural Property Centre, Shirakawa branch “Mahoron”, the steel frameworks of the repository were cracked. The substructures are also broken, so the repository is now off-limits. Because there are a lot of other damage, the centre is closed.

(2) The garden lanterns in Kashima Shrine and stone-walls of the Komine Castle have slumped.

(3) The municipal museum for history and folklore are all safe.

[ Tanagura Town ]

The damaged materials and institutions are as follows; some pottery and other exhibits in the mini-museum in the community centre, the stone-walls of Tanakura Castle, and the garden lanterns and Komainu(*4) in Uka Shrine, which had been devoted by successive lords of the Shirakawa Domain.

*1 Nakadori(中通り): Nakadori is an area’s name which indicates that the middle part of Fukushima divided its land into three zones.

*2 Chieko: Chieko Takamura(高村智恵子).1886~1938. An artist of Western painting. Her husband Kotaro Takamura was also a famous sculptor and poet. Although she developed schizophrenia in her later years, his love never changed, and the poetry anthology “Chieko-sho” which described his love for her is very famous in Japan.

*3 Chusaku Ooyama(大山忠作):1922~2009. An artist of Japanese painting.

*4 Komainu(狛犬): A pair of guardian lions stand on the gate or in front of the main structure of shrines and temples.

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About Nerwork for Historical Materials
A volunteer group for preserving Cultural Heritage suffered from natural disasters

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