Build your own little castle, to help build something bigger.
Along with the tragedy of lives lost and livelihoods gravely altered, much was damaged and destroyed in Kumamoto Prefecture when the devastating earthquake hit the region just over a year ago. Not only homes, schools, and office buildings, but historical temples and landmarks too, like Aso Shrine and Kumamoto Castle, suffered heavy damage from the quake.
Kumamoto Castle is considered one of the three premier castles in Japan; while the castle keep was reconstructed in the mid-1900s, several of the surrounding wooden buildings are from the original castle. It is estimated that to fully restore Kumamoto Castle will take around 20 years and 60 billion yen (more than US$550 million). The castle is very important to the region and its people, with some saying that “without restoring Kumamoto Castle, Kumamoto itself cannot be restored.”
20 years is a long time, and 60 billion yen is an unfathomably large sum of money.
But as they say,