A survey of the Shochuhi memorial and work on the memorial with a cherry picker

Survey with the cherry picker. The bronzed black kite that had fallen from the pedestal is evident at the bottom right.
The damaged bronze adornment and top of the pedestal. The stone leaves blossoming from the pedestal’s center are barely restrained by a loosened bolt.

 Erected on the ruins of the keep of Sendai Castle (or Aoba Castle) in 1902, the Shochuhi memorial commemorates the fallen from the Imperial Army’s 2nd Division, which was located in Sendai. As was reported in January of this year, the memorial features a black kite in bronze atop a stone pedestal close to 20 m high that was damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake last year (evident by the fall of the bronzed black kite). Following a survey of the damage and collection of fragments in January, damaged to the top of the pedestal was surveyed and fragments were collected with a cherry picker on June 26th as part of the Cultural Property Rescue Program.
 The survey and work to collect fragments included individuals from the Gokoku Shrine, Miyagi Pref., where the Shochuhi memorial is located, as well as Mitsuro MIKAMI (Miyagi Museum of Art) from the Council to Conserve Damaged Cultural Properties in Miyagi Prefecture, personnel from the Japan Institute for the Survey and Conservation of Outdoor Sculpture (a firm with experience surveying and conserving outdoor sculptures in Japan), and personnel from Hashimototen Co., Ltd. (a local construction firm). Also participating in the survey were Akio HASHIMOTO of the Department of Crafts, Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts and Chizuko YOSHIDA of the Educational Materials Office of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts. Work was supported by a donation from Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. to the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo to help with the Cultural Property Rescue Program.
 The survey found a number of bronze fragments scattered atop the pedestal, and these fragments were collected. A survey of the remaining portion of the bronze adornment determined that one of the stone leaves was barely restrained by a loosened bolt, cracks ran through the narrow portion of the base supporting the bronzed black kite, and the bronze adornment that was perched atop the pedestal had struck the projecting cornice at the top of the pedestal before leaving a hole at the foot of the pedestal when it fell. The stone leaves that had come free were secured with bands and the top of the pedestal was covered with blue plastic tarp, but these are only stop-gap measures. If a large earthquake were to strike again, the stone leaves could fall to the foot of the pedestal. Rainwater from holes in the cornice and the damaged pedestal could seep into the pedestal and cause it to collapse. Steps to deal with the bronzed black kite that had been left where it fell at the foot of the pedestal need to be devised along with steps for the future.

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