FUKUOKA – Japan’s oldest working water wheels resumed operation Wednesday in the city of Asakura about a month after torrential rains devastated the area and claimed dozens of lives.
Work to restore operation of the three water wheels in the Fukuoka Prefecture city had been underway since July 20. The wheels, which date back to the Edo Period and have distributed water to rice fields in Asakura and nearby areas, were designated as a national historic site in 1990.
The wheels began turning normally after soil and debris was removed from the channels carrying water to them.
“I feel relieved. More tourists may come and I hope it brings cheer to the locals,” said Tetsuya Tokunaga, the 70-year-old head of the site management office.
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