NAGOYA – Jomanji Temple, a state-designated tangible cultural property in Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, went up in flames late Thursday, bringing an end to a Buddhist structure that dated back to the Edo Period (1603-1868).
“I heard loud booms, which I first thought were fireworks,” said resident Makoto Itatsu, 70. “I went outside and was surprised to see the sky glowing red.”
The fire started at about 10:55 p.m. and burned nearly 586 sq. meters of the complex, including the main building and priests’ living quarters, before it was extinguished three hours later.
There was no one in the temple at the time and no one was injured.
The police are investigating the cause of the fire.
According to the prefectural board of education, the wooden main building was believed to have been built in the early Edo Period, with the priests’ quarters added midway through.
Jomanji, registered as a tangible cultural property in 2007, is about 800 meters northwest of Nagoya Railroad Co.’s Inuyama Station in a district with several other temples and shrines.
Inuyama Castle, on the banks of the Kiso River, is about 600 meters to its north.