A local equipment leasing company has stepped in and saved a historic home in Kagoshima from demolition. The former Fujitake Residence had been owned and operated by the Kagoshima Prefecture Education Center Preservation Foundation since 1960 and used as a staff dormitory. The foundation was no longer using the home and struggling with maintenance costs. 

Last year they announced plans to demolish it. This was met with a large outcry from locals and heritage preservation groups. Around 4,300 signed a petition seeking a delay to the demolition while a suitable buyer could be found. 

The traditional Japanese home was built in 1939 for Kisuke Fujitake, a kimono fabric dealer. The construction cost in today’s terms was around 300 million Yen. No expense was spared, with a shrine carpenter from Kyoto coming down to build the home using the finest of materials. Kagoshima City was largely destroyed in a WWII air raid, with very few wooden homes surviving the fires. 

The home and land has been sold to Heiwa Lease for 620 million Yen (approx. US$4.1 million). The new owner is planning to involve the local heritage preservation group in operating the home for public tours, music and craft events. 

Source: NHK, September 1, 2023.