In 1995 the devastating Kobe earthquake hit 7.2 Japan and resulted in more than 6,400 deaths and over 43,000 injuries. The effects also included the ruins of 250,000 buildings. During the quake, 60% of the buildings in Kobe were heavily damaged, including the Catholic Church of Takatori.
With the help of 160 volunteers, a temporary church was built in only five weeks and was named ‘Paper Dome’. In 2005, the local government decided to replace the old structure with a new permanent one. At that time, the President of the New Homeland Foundation happened to be on a visit to Japan. After this had learned that the paper dome was soon to be demolished, the President made a proposal that the memorable building should be relocated to Nantou, which was hit hardest by the 921 earthquake in 1999.
On May 29th, 2005, the last service was held, and the residents took leave of the church that had helped them through the hard times. The structure was handed over to Taiwan in 2006, reconstructed there and is now one of the top tourist attractions in In this area.
From the cylindrical columns to the inner benches, Paper Dome is an enormous hollow paper tube structure supported by a total of 58 tubes with a height of 5 meters. The diameter of the tube is about 33 cm, and the paper thickness is about 1.5 cm. Although each paper tube weighs no more than 60 kg, they can carry up to 1500 kg weight, which corresponds to the weight of 20 persons.