A real ruin made of reinforced concrete in the middle of Tokyo. Is that even possible? This dormitory built in 1927 as a foreign student dormitory was used until recently and was home for 38 Taiwanese students. Unfortunately, on July 20th 2007 at 4.55am, one of its inhabitants fell asleep in his bed while smoking a cigarette. A few minutes later, the entire building caught fire. Two women were killed and seven other people were injured. Most of the content of its rooms has been turned into ashes.
It was hard to imagine how it was looking like before the fire. The building from outside looked like a lifeless and colorless bunker. Once inside, it reminded us of the court of the Block 65 (an iconic building found on the Abandoned Island of Gunkanjima). Upon visiting, the ambiance was sad and painful. Many of the personal belongings were still here, some recognizable, some not.
After exploring the carbonized rooms I found a few ones in better state. That was when I came across this letter, left on a table. The writer had a brain cancer, was living his last moments and was hoping to see his friend one more time.
Visiting the Seika Dormitory (精華寮) was rather an odd experience, somehow moving and dramatic at the same time.
- 1927 – 2007