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Kumamoto Earthquake damaged over 20% of designated cultural assets

Over 20 percent of Kumamoto Prefecture's nationally designated and registered cultural assets and assets designated by the Kumamoto Prefectural Government were damaged in the Kumamoto Earthquake in April, officials have disclosed.

    The damaged assets included Kumamoto Castle, whose stone walls crumbled, and Aso Shrine's Romon Gate.

    Prefectural education board officials said 150 of 685 assets, or 21.9 percent, were damaged in the two powerful quakes that struck the prefecture on April 14 and 16. The proportion is far higher than the 6.5 percent (36 assets) damaged in the 2004 Chuetsu Earthquake in Niigata Prefecture, and the number tops the 142 total assets (28.7 percent) that were found damaged in Miyagi Prefecture following the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

    Breaking down the damage, prefectural officials said 41 of the 150 nationally designated cultural assets in the prefecture, or 27.3 percent, were damaged, as were 55 of the 151 assets registered by the central government (36.4 percent), and 54 of the 384 assets designated by the prefecture (14.1 percent).

    A total of 97 damaged assets were tangible cultural properties, three were folklore cultural assets, 42 were places of historical interest, six were places of scenic beauty, one was a natural monument, and one was a cultural landscape.

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