While our Western (and particularly European) societies have a very special, if not political, relationship with history, the heirs of Confucian thought do not focus as much on the preservation of the historical heritage, and therefore do not hesitate to raze it to the ground for free, as was recently the case with Sega.
A new page has been turned again for Japan’s oldest manufacturer: after leaving its historic premises in the centre of Kyoto in 2014 to move into a huge new building south of the city, we learn this week that the company’s so-called “historic” premises are to be given a second lease of life by being transformed into a hotel.
While the very first hanafuda card manufacturer’s workshop occupied by founder Fujisaro Yamauchi in 1889 has long since disappeared, the art deco building occupied from 1933 surrounded by the Takasegawa and Kamogawa Rivers still displays the famous plaque “The Nintendo Playing Card Co.” on its façade, in front of which fans with a lot of time to spend in the former imperial capital liked to take pictures of themselves.
The building has been neglected for a few years in favour of the grey rectangle we know today, so it will be refurbished by the company Plan Do See, which specialises in renovating historic buildings. Once refurbished, the building will become a hotel offering a restaurant, bar, gym and spa.
However, the famous plaque could well be kept on the façade of the new building, as can be guessed from the first visual of the official document issued by Plan Do See. Planned to welcome its first guests in the twenty or so rooms planned, the hotel still has no official name, so bets are all that is left open.