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One of Tokyo's most famous tourist destinations, Kaminarimon at Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa, attracts many worshippers and tourists. It actually burnt down in 1865 and was left in that state for 95 years until Panasonic's founder, Konosuke Matsushita (Matsushita Electric Industrial Company at that time), undertook its reconstruction gratis. Ever since, Panasonic has donated a new paper lantern once every decade. This video introduces scenes from the replacement of the lantern that took place this year. Included is footage from the Asakusa area in the 1960's with the celebration of the Kaminarimon's reconstruction as well as craftsmen in Kyoto making the paper lantern.
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Taste of Edo inherited by modern day Asakusa
The Asakusa area with the Senso-ji Temple and Kaminarimon is a bustling area of Tokyo. But did you know that the Kaminarimon, known as the face of Asakusa today, actually burnt down in 1865 and was left in that state for nearly 95 years?
Matsushita Electric rebuilt and donated the Kaminarimon, 95 years after the fire
With the desire to see the "Kaminarimon in Asakusa once again," Konosuke Matsushita rebuilt the Kaminarimon gratis. The ceremony celebrating the reconstruction in the 1960s is featured in this video report. You can not only see what the ceremony was like, but this video also features an interview with Konosuke Matsushita and rare scenes of the bustling Nakamise-dori in the 1960s.
Replacement of the lanterns every decade
Panasonic's relationship with the Kaminarimon after its rebirth has continued. To renew its ties, Panasonic donates a new lantern once every decade. This video report also introduces how these gigantic lanterns are made.
Hanging of the lantern
The finished lantern is shipped by truck from Kyoto. Because it is too big to fit through the highway gates, the driver has to take regular roads all the way to Kaminarimon in Tokyo. Please take a look at scenes of the staff working to replace and hang the lantern.