Day 17: Castles vs Earthquakes. 🏯
Kumamoto Castle, originally built in 1467, is considered one of the 3 premier castles in Japan (together with Himeji and Matsumoto). It was largely burnt down during the 1877 Satsuma rebellion, but underwent a large scale restoration effort in 1998-2008, with paintings and other records of the original designs helping rebuild the castle to its former splendor.
Unfortunately, an earthquake in 2016 damaged, compromised or even fully destroyed several structures, incluinding the 6-floor main palace. New restoration efforts are being undertaken, but it will take decades to see the castle at it were. 😞
Despite this, the restoration efforts are quite impressive, with many souvenirs being sold solely to help the restoration budget, and also very accurate identification and numbering of the rocks of each wall, both to make sure they go back to the place they belong but also to understand what might have caused some sections to be more heavily damaged. Very impressive, much diligence!! 👏🏼