The guards at the shrine quickly extinguished the blaze shortly after it started on Monday, and it did not cause serious damage. However, part of Mikado Gate was burnt and blackened.
The guards at the shrine told police that they saw fire rising from Mikado Gate; the flames reached approximately 13 meters (nearly 43 feet) in height. The guards managed to extinguish the fire, and no one was injured.
A suspicious man was caught on security cameras torching the gate.
The controversial shrine is dedicated to soldiers and others who died fighting on behalf of Japan’s emperor during World War II. There are currently more than 2.4 million enshrined men and women whose lives were dedicated to the service of Imperial Japan. On the grounds, there is also a war museum dedicated to World War II as well as statues honoring the mothers who made sacrifices during the war.
The gate was built in 1934.
Police are investigating the fire.