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Ninomiya shrine in Sado City, Niigata Prefecture, recovers from fire damage! Reviving a local treasure with the help of students aiming to become shrine carpenters

Third-year students of the Department of Traditional Architecture at the College of Traditional Culture and Environmental Welfare, which trains students in traditional construction techniques and trains personnel to pass them on to the future, will be rebuilding the shrine cover and dedicating the main building of Ninomiya Shrine, which was damaged by fire.

The shrine is dedicated to Queen Tadako, the second daughter of Emperor Juntoku, who was exiled to Sado approximately 800 years ago, and has a Noh stage which is a tangible cultural property of Sado City.

In November 2021, a fire destroyed the main shrine building, and in August 2023, another fire destroyed the Noh stage. The repeated fires caused the loss of cultural assets that had been protected by the local community, and local residents were left devastated.

In the reconstruction of Ninomiya Shrine, the Oiya was rebuilt to protect the main hall and a student-built Ikkensha Ryuzukuri Honden was dedicated to the main hall. The Nagare-zukuri main hall built by the students has been dedicated to many shrines.

The ground-breaking ceremony was held in March this year and foundation work started in April. The building is currently being erected using traditional construction methods, with completion scheduled for the end of July.

The shrine and temple construction this time uses timber from Yoshii Lumber Industries (Kamiyokoyama, Sado City), with which an ‘Agreement on the use of timber resources (biomass energy from scrap wood)’ has been concluded for the purpose of promoting the SDGs. Scrap wood and chips generated in the processing of wood are used as a heat source for biomass hot water heaters and utilised as a renewable energy resource at the facilities of Yoshii Wood Industry, and used as incinerated ash fertiliser after being utilised as a renewable energy source.