Update [Thu 2nd May, 2024 10:30 BST]: The owner of the Living Bird Store in Japan has been posting photos of his attempts to salvage some of the units which were damaged by the fire that destroyed the arcade a short time ago.

In one post, a damaged Super Hang-On is shown:

I retrieved the Super Hang-On. This was the first machine that got me started in arcades. The main body is a mess and looks useless at first glance, but the circuit board is miraculously in good condition and the main parts of the controller are still there. It will take time, but I would like to repair and reassemble it.

In another, the owner describes the mental challenge of the clean-up process:

Every time I find something, I feel like I'm going to collapse to my knees, but I endure the pain as I continue to collect it. It feels like the harsh reality is just about to come to an end. Thank you for the fond memories.

They haven't reached the center of the second floor storage area yet, but the circuit boards are starting to come out little by little. As expected, most of them are in a terrible state, but I would like to reward them for the entertainment they have given us over the years.

However, acts of kindness from the general public are commonplace:

Last week, a customer came to the site and brought with him a "Gradius Ⅱ " circuit board. I first saw this game at an arcade on my way home from school. I still can't forget the indescribable excitement I felt at that time. Thank you. I will use it carefully.

The customers were being a bit extravagant again, this time buying game cabinets. "Super Hang On" Yesterday, I went to pick it up with a regular customer. Thank you... I'm at a loss for words.

Original Story [Sat 20th Apr, 2024 19:30 BST]: Not so long ago, we reported that an arcade in Japan which took ten years to build had been destroyed by fire.

The owner of the arcade has started a crowdfunding campaign to help resurrect the arcade, and it already has one high-profile supporter in the form of WWE star Asuka.

"I really struggled with whether to do crowdfunding," says the owner of the Living Bird store, which housed a selection of classic arcade games in Towada City, Aomori Prefecture. "I was the first to think that reconstruction was impossible. I was determined not to even consider crowdfunding until I could see a path to making it a reality. So, if I'm going to do it, I'll do it with all my might. I think this will probably be my last chance. I would be really happy if we could build an arcade together."

The arcade – which moved to its present location in December of 2022 following the impact of COVID-19 with the help of a previous crowdfunding campaign – was utterly devastated by a blaze which began in a neighbouring unit and spread through the roof. The fire was so fierce that it took half a day for it to be extinguished.

The campaign's target goal is 10,000,000 Yen (around $65,000), and 2,200,500 Yen has been raised so far by around 122 people.

Japanese wrestler Asuka is a keen gamer and is even building her own personal arcade.