Donations sought to rebuild Nagoya Castle in wooden form

Kyodo

The city of Nagoya will start accepting donations Friday to finance a restoration project that will re-create the original wooden structure of Nagoya Castle’s main tower.

The city aims to collect ¥10 billion through its Kinshachi donation campaign, which is named after the two statues of the kin no shachihoko (golden tiger-headed fish) on the roof of the castle’s donjon.

Those who donate ¥1 million or more will be entitled to enter Nagoya Castle free of charge for 30 years. The city aims to complete the restoration in 2022 at a maximum cost of ¥50.5 billion.

“We can expect donations not only from Nagoya but also from all over the world,” Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura said at a news conference last Monday.

About ¥10 million has been already donated, according to the city.

Donations will be accepted online and via donation boxes placed in about 30 places throughout the city, including the castle and City Hall, allowing people to give as little as ¥1. Their message cards will be stored in a time capsule in the castle as well.

The main tower was built in 1612 and its seven-story main donjon was rebuilt with reinforced concrete in 1959 after being destroyed by U.S. air raids during the war in May 1945.

Kawamura promised to restore the tower to its original wooden state during his re-election campaign in April, which won him a fourth term.

To reward the donors, those who contribute ¥1,000 or more will be eligible for lotteries to attend special events, such as after-hours tours of the castle, while those who donate ¥10,000 or more will be given one-year free passes. Those who donate ¥50,000 or more will have their names written inside the castle.

The dismantling of the castle’s main tower will start in March 2019 once it is approved by the Cultural Affairs Agency.

Construction of the original castle began in 1610 on the orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, and the main keep was completed two years later.

The castle’s main tower was designated a national treasure in 1930 along with affiliated buildings.