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Wed Oct 30, 2019, 09:15 PM

Japan Shuri castle fire: blaze engulfs ancient world heritage site

Source: The Guardian and agencies

A fire has swept through a historic castle on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa , destroying much of a structure that had come to symbolise the ancient Ryukyu kingdom and the islandís recovery from the second world war.

Flames engulfed Shuri castle, a Unesco world heritage site located in the islandís capital Naha, at around 2:40 am and quickly spread to other buildings in the complex, local police said.

There were no initial reports of injuries, but nearby residents were evacuated while firefighters spent several hours attempting to bring the fire under control.

The castle, a popular tourist spot, dates back to the days of the Ryukyu kingdom, which began in 1429 and ended in the late 1800s when it was annexed by the government in Tokyo.

-snip-

Justin McCurry in Tokyo and agencies
Thu 31 Oct 2019 00.26 GMT
Last modified on Thu 31 Oct 2019 02.04 GMT


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/31/japan-shuri-castle-fire-blaze-engulfs-ancient-world-heritage-site




Shuri Castle was previously destroyed during World War Two (EPA)

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Reply Japan Shuri castle fire: blaze engulfs ancient world heritage site (Original post)
Eugene Oct 30 OP
2naSalit Oct 30 #1
geralmar Oct 30 #2
alittlelark Oct 30 #3
dalton99a Oct 30 #4
Judi Lynn Oct 30 #5
Hekate Oct 31 #6
packman Oct 31 #7
Hekate Oct 31 #8

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 09:23 PM

1. Oh dear!

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Response to Eugene (Original post)


Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 10:02 PM

3. That picture is beautiful-and so tragic

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 10:47 PM

4. Before the fire:

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 10:53 PM

5. The building was so beautiful, and so important to so many people for so very long.

It will take a long time to overcome this loss, and its meaningful place in the world.

Thank you for the before photo.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 03:45 AM

6. How terribly sad





Summer grass
All that remains
Of warriors' dreams
~~~Basho

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:36 AM

7. You would think something so important to world culture

would have a fire-suppression system . Guess they didn't take any lessons from the Notre Dame fire or Windsor Castle fire.

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Response to packman (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 01:26 PM

8. Japan's treasures are largely made of wood; the fires of the urban areas are legendary...

The landscapes of Europe and Britain/Ireland are littered with ancient castles made of stone -- but that part of the planet is not afflicted with earthquakes the way Japan is. Stone endures -- but as we in California know, it's a lethal building material in its own right when not reinforced by modern means.

Wooden structures, on the other hand, have a certain flex in their joints, and can ride out a lot of small quakes. Wood's flammable, though. The Japanese treasure their treasures, and I'm sure every modern means was in place before the fire -- altho subsequent reports may tell us more.

(Now I'm off to see if google can tell me if I'm right or if there's other historic reasons why there was overwhelming reliance on wood.)

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