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Small piece of Japan in Ohio

Haivart

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Hopefully, the link below will work. We have a replica of a Usa Jingu shrine (built around 640) in Central Ohio. If the link doesn't work (and the picture is beautiful) I'll see if I can find a better link, or just cut and paste the story.

Without warning, a Japanese landmark in
Westerville closed. The tours that attracted
people from across the United States stopped last
August. The owners, who live in Kelso, Wash., are
planning to sell. Thus, a campaign has begun to
save the Kyoto Tea House and Shinto Shrine along
with their Moon Bridge and garden.


The link doesn't work right, so I'll try and post the story; and maybe find a better link later this week.
[
 

Haivart

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Here is an abbreviated version of the story from the Columbus Dispatch.

Cross-cultural preservation: a piece of Japan in Westerville
Saturday, March 8, 2003

Beth Dalin is leading efforts to save the Kyoto Tea House and Shinto Shrine in Westerville. The owners want to sell the compound, but neighbors and Westerville residents want to find a buyer to keep it open to the public.

Without warning, a Japanese landmark in Westerville closed.

The tours that attracted people from across the United States stopped last August.

The owners, who live in Kelso, Wash., are planning to sell.

Thus, a campaign has begun to save the Kyoto Tea House and Shinto Shrine along with their Moon Bridge and garden. They form a compound that has stood at Plum and State streets in Westerville since the 1960s.

Neighbors, who didn't realize what was happening until recently, want to keep the compound in town -- and intact.

The owners, Kaye and Charles Henderson III, had accepted an offer from a developer who wanted just the land, not the buildings. Fortunately for the neighbors, the developer backed out.

"They'd probably just turn it into a big retail area,'' said Sue Lisman, who lives on Plum Street.

Some are pinning hopes to preserve the compound on Beth Dalin, a Westerville teacher who wants to find a buyer willing to resume the tours. She has contacted Honda and other companies seeking support.

"I want to get this property in the hands of people who understand its educational value,'' said Dalin, who teaches at Emerson Elementary Magnet School.

The Hendersons have grown tired of traveling to Westerville every summer to maintain the compound and clean the dolls, musical instruments and other items inside. The volunteer tour guides who ran the place while the Hendersons were away have moved on.

"Our kids are graduating from high school, and they're not really excited about going back to Ohio to work on restoring the shrine,'' Mrs. Henderson said. "All of them have sacrificed their personal lives to help.''

Janelle Henderson, a representative of the Japan-America Society of Central Ohio, said the old structures probably need to be repaired.

"But the artifacts themselves are great, and a lot of them are probably antiques,'' said Henderson, who is not related to the owners.

Though shrines in Japan confine tours to the gardens, the one in Westerville -- which never was consecrated -- welcomed the public inside its buildings. The purpose was to promote Japanese culture, not practice religion.

Visitors meditated in the garden. They marveled at woodblock prints, spiritual altars and the authentic design. They questioned the purpose of the suspended ceilings.

Building the Kyoto Tea House and Shinto Shrine was the dream of Charles Henderson II, the father of the compound's current owner.

Henderson served with the U.S. military in Japan several times in the 1950s and '60s.

He developed a fondness for the country's culture and wanted to share Japanese customs with Americans.

Henderson found craftsmen in Okinawa to construct a replica of an Usa Jingu shrine built in 640.

He had the replica shipped in pieces to the United States in 1962. Reassembled in Henderson's hometown of Westerville, the compound opened to tourists on Sept. 5, 1964. The compound closed in 1978 when Henderson died.

It reopened in 1982, when Henderson's son, Charles Henderson III, moved back to Westerville to pursue a doctorate at Ohio State University
 

Chakan

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I didn't know about this place before your posting this (I don't read the Dispatch, but the Lancaster Gazette), so thank you. Hopefully something will work out and I'll be able to visit it sometime.
 

KYOTO ROSE

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Westerville shrine...

I'm trying to find out whatever happened to the shrine in Westerville, Ohio. The last posting I could find was from 2003...does anyone out there have any more recent information? Do any of you know of other Shinto shrines in or near Ohio? :)
 

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