Updated on: July 17, 2017
Despite a devastating earthquake in 1995 causing death to thousands in Kobe, a miracle happened. One “man” was left standing – a Jesus Christ statue stayed intact and rooted to the original position among the debris of the church that housed it.
Renowned architect Shigeru Ban who has previously built shelters for African and south American refuges, worked his miracle and built a temporary “Paper Dome” church which used cardboard tubes as the main structural material. As a concrete structure was proposed in 2005 to replace the temporary church, this memorable “Paper Dome” was subsequently relocated to Nantou as it was severely affected by the 1999 earthquake. With the grace of this amazing architectural structure, the residents in Taomi community of Puli township was able to find salvation through strengthened friendship and support from earthquake prone Japan.
“Paper Dome” is a reflection of life, not everyone gets a second lease of life like it does, be grateful and cherish the one chance we all are given.
Since 2008, tourist flock to witness the beauty and resilience of this paper architectural miracle which has provided solace to millions of worshipers in hard times. The “Paper Dome” also serves as an educational platform to exchange earthquake reconstruction experiences.