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> Japan's oldest temple, burned to the ground and rebuilt every 20 years

I suspect that there is a degree of translation loss in those quotes.

In general if you ask someone about this they'll indeed reply that their temple is 1,000 years old (example). Then if you ask whether this means that this building right here is 1,000 years old they'll may very naturally reply that no, they rebuild it every so often.

I'm thinking that the concept of e.g. 'temple' might be different than the actual buildings the temple is made of.

Now, sometimes the buildings really are hundreds of years old.






Which isn't really different then churches, which may be older than the church building. "The church was founded in 1890. The present building was opened in 1950, and the old building is now used as a hall." Sometimes you might even see "The church was built in 1890. A new building was opened in 1950, but they burned down in 1984. The present building was finished in 1986."



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