With the 2020 Olympics secured in Tokyo, various ideas as to how the city can be improved upon are bound to start surfacing.
The first of these is the proposed reconstruction of Edo Castle, which was destroyed in the 17th Century. Proponents insist that it would be a major tourist attraction and an asset to the capital; however, 2ch commenters aren’t convinced of the plan.
From Dot Asahi:
Should We Use Fifty Billion Yen To Rebuild “Edo Castle” For The Tokyo Olympics?
London has Buckingham Palace, Beijing has the Forbidden City, Paris has L’Arc de Triomphe. In any city in the world, there is always a building that represents that nation’s history and culture. Except for Tokyo…
“And that is why I want to rebuild Edo Castle!” comes the emphatic statement from Otake Naotaka, director of the authorized NPO “Committee For Rebuilding the Keep of Edo Castle”.
“They say that in 2020, around ten million people will visit Tokyo for the Tokyo Olympics, both from Japan and abroad. Yet there is no building in Tokyo that proudly represents Japanese history and culture. Now is the best chance for rebuilding the keep of Edo Castle, which was the most magnificent and beautiful castle in all of Japan”.
After working exclusively for JTB, Otake worked as executive director of the Tokyo Tourism Bureau. He flew all over the world to market Tokyo, but when he did, it struck him that in Tokyo, there was no historical landmark.
“Even for Tokyo to become a tourist city that is prided all over the world, we need to rebuild Edo Castle” [Otake]
There are also those in government who anticipate the rebuilding of Edo Castle. In 2012, Matsuzawa Shigefumi, a member of the House of Representatives, touted the rebuilding of the keep of Edo Castle as a public promise when he was nominated to run for Mayor of Tokyo. Furthermore, at a meeting with NPOs to exchange opinions over government policies held in August last year, Tanigaki Sadakazu, former president of the LDP, is also thought to have expressed a strong interest in the plan.
And so, where should we rebuild it, and how much will it cost?
The place is assumed to be in the East Garden of the Tokyo Imperial Palace, which is open to the general public. This is because even today, the foundations of the keep remain there. The keep of Edo castle was razed to the ground in 1657 during the “Great Fire of Meireki”. After that, the foundations of the keep were repaired by the Maeda House of Kaga Domain, but due to the economic situation of the Shogunate, the keep itself was not rebuilt.
The cost of rebuilding would be around 4 — 5 billion yen if the keep were to be restored faithfully as an entirely wooden structure. This is on the same scale as Tokyo Station, which was restored in 2012 at a cost of approximately 5 billion yen. The cost for the rebuild would be covered by donations from corporate sponsorship and individuals.
Of course there are also criticisms about investing such a huge sum of money. But even Osaka Castle, which has become a tourist spot that has 1,510,000 visitors each year, was restored in 1931. And Nagoya Castle, which has 1,470,000 visitors over the course of a year, was restored after the war. In the case of Edo Castle, it is anticipated that the rebuild will have by far a bigger effect that any of these previous restorations of Japan’s castles. Kuroda Ryo, author of books such as “Walking Around Edo Castle” told us the following:
“Rebuilding Edo Castle will not simply have an economic effect, but also a psychological one. The other castles are the pride of these regions all over Japan. To have the keep of Edo Castle in Tokyo, the nation’s capital, could become a symbol of the pride and the spirit of the Japanese people”.
Welcoming foreigners at Edo Castle. In 2020, that might well be a reality.
※ From the 27 September 2013 edition of Shukan Asahi.
Comments from 2ch.net:
Not interested, idiot.
Go make the Doyusha plastic model of it.
How about Takeshi’s Castle?
No need for a bloody concrete castle with an iron frame.
Better not to do it.
If they do it solely on donations, then I have nothing against it. But don’t you dare use a penny of my tax!
I think that the remains of the castle have a historical value, but what’s the point if they build a fake?
Don’t waste money.
Bet there’s gonna be an injection of tax money to pay for the upkeep after they’ve built it, huh?
Makes me wanna cry.
I’m fine with the Olympics, but I don’t need these free-riders using the Olympics as their chance.
If you want to do it, do it on your own back without using any of our tax.
Build it out of Lego and play with it
Nothing wrong with enjoying it by yourself, Otake.
Yeah yeah, if it was there you guys’d all be visiting it.
So you gonna destroy it when the Olympics is over? Gonna burn it down?
Don’t make castles with no master!
If you’ve got that kind of money to waste, then use it for the recovery of disaster-struck areas.