Japanese fan to build replica of John Lennon's childhood home
Local historian wants to recreate semi-detached house as a 'memorial hall' to 'apostle of peace' Lennon and Yoko Ono
By Julian Ryall, Tokyo
16 Jan 2015
A Japanese fan of The Beatles wants to create an identical replica of John Lennon's childhood home to promote love and peace.
Tatsuro Hara, the head of a local historical and cultural study group in the town of Yanagawa in southern Japan, has proposed that a plot of land that belonged to the grandfather of Yoko Ono, the late musician's wife, be turned into a park with a replica of Lennon's home as a "memorial hall".
"I was born in 1943 so I grew up as part of the 'Beatles generation', so of course I am a fan," Mr Hara told The Telegraph.
"The Beatles made the greatest contribution to the musical revolution and I believe that Mr Lennon is an apostle of peace," he said.
"I want to make a 'Yoko Ono and John Lennon Memorial' in Yanagawa as a monument to love and peace and to disseminate the idea of peace around the world," he added.
Mr Hara said he had ruled out the possibility of buying Lennon's home, at 251 Menlove Avenue, in Woolton, pictured. Photo: Getty
Mr Hara said he had ruled out the possibility of buying Lennon's home, at 251 Menlove Avenue, in Woolton, and shipping it to Japan to be rebuilt in Yanagawa.
The semi-detached house dates from the 1930s and was purchased by Yoko Ono before being donated to The National Trust in 2003.
"If I am allowed to make a replica of Mr Lennon's home, I would like to give it all the identical details, including the interior and the furniture," he added.
The city government of Yanagawa set aside 30 million yen (£167,256) to purchase the land last year from a relative of Yoko Ono. The plot has been empty since the home of her grandfather, Eijiro Ono, was demolished 40 years ago.
The local authority stepped in after a company announced plans to turn the land into a nursing home.
Kenji Kaneko, the mayor of Yanagawa, has said he is in favour of using the land for a museum to promote the achievements of Ono and her husband, while others have said it should be used for a museum dedicated to world peace.
"The area is already one of Yanagawa's tourist destinations and we expect many tourists will visit the park," an official in the city's planning division said.
Throughout the rest of his childhood and adolescence, Lennon lived with his aunt and uncle, Mimi and George Smith, at Mendips, 251 Menlove Avenue, Woolton.