Monday, May 30, 2011

Demise of a Classic Old Tokyo Manor

Two evenings ago I was walking home in the rain from Jiyugaoka Station, and spotted about 10 fire engines, a horde of people, and a huge billow of smoke that drifted up into the sky in spite of heavy rain from an approaching typhoon.

The sad fact was that a classic Taishō period (1912-26) mansion was up in flames, and the firefighters were struggling with a huge blaze that consumed a wonderful, historic wooden building.

Today I went back to see the outcome.

The photo (right) was taken just over the front gate, where a wheelchair was disturbingly left and police tape wound across the entrance. The destruction is pretty intense - the whole building is a skeleton now, with the refuse of burned telephone books, kimono, furniture, a TV, and even a coveted old reel-to-reel tape player parked on the small roof above where the front door used to be.

For Okusawa, a generally wealthy area, this is an incredibly big space. And sadly it was probably the largest old house I'd seen in Tokyo - till now.

This is the way the place was 18 months ago.

The trees surrounding the huge property made it difficult to get a decent shot from the street; I always intended to climb the wall (discreetly!) and get a couple of good photos. Now, sadly, it's too late.

I just hope the people got out of there safely.


Gabriella - The Stepford Wife said...

Oh wow, this was so interesting - it really looks like something out of those scary movies if you ask me.

Andrez Bergen said...

Ha Ha Ha - cheers, Gabriella! ...I think!! ;)

AstroNerdBoy said...

Its a shame about the house there. Of course, the lesson here is to get the pictures when you can 'cause you never know what might happen. ^_^;;;

Hopefully, no one was hurt in the fire.

Japan Auistralia said...

Always a shame to lose a lovely old house.

Japan Australia

Andrez Bergen said...

Absolutely right about getting in quick, AstroNerdBoy, and - yep - always a shame indeed, regardless of the country/culture.