The intricate displays offer an alternative perspective on one of Japan’s finest castles.

Known to be one of the most popular castles in Japan, Kumamoto Castle is truly a sight to behold. Unfortunately the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake devastated parts of the magnificent castle, and access to damaged areas remains restricted to this day.

To support the restoration, Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto collaborated with Toshio Miike in a miniature exhibition running until 18 March 2018. Toshio was the special effects designer and supervisor for Gamera, the Ultraman saga, and Shin Godzilla, so he’s no stranger to creating finely detailed mini architecture.

▼ The exhibition features meticulously crafted 1/20 models of the
castle complex and its surrounding streets.

▼ Crafting these sure takes a lot of work, and though they may
not be the real thing, they come pretty darn close.

As Kumamoto Castle’s main tower is in the midst of restoration, visitors hoping to catch a closeup look can do so at this miniature exhibition. Aso Shrine, which was also heavily damaged by the 2016 earthquake, can also be viewed here.

Toshio draws upon his vast experience in movie production to bring his own spin to the displays with night illumination, allowing visitors and photography enthusiasts alike to snap gorgeous night scenes.

▼ The special illumination occurs every day from
2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Using the miniature castle complex, the special effects wizard himself also holds an exclusive workshop that offers a peek into the intriguing world of movie making, which may prove to be an invaluable insight for those hoping to break into film production.

Photos, videos, and actual parts of the building are also up for viewing, showcasing Kumamoto Castle’s past, present and future.

As complete restoration of the castle will take another 20 years and an estimated 60 billion yen (US$550 million), Toshio hopes the exhibition will help garner more support for its reconstruction and speed up the process.

You too can help contribute by purchasing a miniature Kumamoto Castle, the proceeds of which will all go towards restoring one of Japan’s finest castles.

Event information
Kumamoto Castle Revival Project Exhibition
熊本城×特撮美術 天守再現プロジェクト展
Address: Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto, Kumamoto-shi,
Chuo-ku, Kamitori-cho, 2-3
Open: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Source: Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto
Top image: GAHAG
Insert images: Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto