The damage to the cultural properties in Yonezawa City

Detailed description of preservation activity in Yonezawa City

Published on 30 April 2011

Author(s): Network for Historical Materials

Type:  Blog/Situation Report

From the blog of the Yamagata Relief Network for Cultural Heritage

We have received information about the damage to cultural properties in Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture. This is the rough report of their present condition as of now.

  1. 88 pieces of pottery which were stored in the Repository Room for the buried cultural properties of Yonezawa City (managed by the Yonezawa city Board of education) were broken.
  2. Many properties which were nationally designated as tangible cultural properties stored in ‘Keishoden’ which is the repository of Uesugi Shrine’s treasures were seriously damaged. In addition, although the other shrine’s structures are not designated, we have confirmed that the Torii gate, the entrance of the Uesugi Memorial Museum and other facilities had fallen down and were gravely affected.
  3. The main structure of the former-Yonezawa technical high school which was nationally designated as the Important Cultural Property was damaged for example, plenty of interior white-plastered walls and the glass windows were cracked and broken.
  4. The stone-made garden lanterns and the tomb stones in Rinsenji Temple(*1) had fallen down. We received this information from the chief of Uesugi family’s(*2) grave yard, so we haven’t visited and confirmed them yet.

As for the damage to the cultural properties in Yamagata Prefecture:

  1. In Yamagata Prefecture, the houses rarely have any roof tiles because Yamagata is a snowy country. However, roof tiles can be a criterion to judge the degree of damage by seeing their appearance, therefore we have to investigate each structure much closely one by one.
  2. As the snow melts, the damage to the stone-made cultural properties, shrines and temples is gradually becoming clear.
  3. The same situation as in the other devastated areas, the damage depends on their foundations or other reasons, so we must inspect in more detail.

These days, we cannot get enough petrol, the weather was bad this weekend and extraordinarily cold even for March, so our research was inadequate. We discussed about it in the meeting on 26th March.

Our activity is based on volunteer work, so what we can do is limited, however, we would like you to give us information about your areas it might be useful to confirm the damage even if it is only a tiny matter.

We appreciate your cooperation.

*1 Rinsenji Temple(林泉寺): Uesugi’s family temple. There are many tombs of Uesugi family and the people concerned.

*2 Uesugi family(上杉家): the loads of the Sendai Domain.

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