The 101-centimeter-tall statue, which had been placed in the Kannon hall next to the main hall at the temple, was replaced with a two-armed, 60-centimeter-tall wooden statue sprayed in gold.
Shinsai Ishibashi, 69, chief priest at the temple, said a local resident noticed on last Saturday that the lock of Kannon hall had been broken. However, he did not confirm if the original statue was missing.
Thats odd since it seems it took them two days to confirm the statue was obviously missing when the original and the replacement are quite different in size and appearance.
What really interests me in the article though is this line
The figure is usually stored in a miniature shrine deep inside Kannon hall, but was slated to be subject to exposition in 2009 — an event that comes only once every 60 years.
That is why I love being Catholic because our most precious item, a consecrated Host which is the body soul and divinity of Jesus, is so easily available. A Catholic in a state of grace can actually eat our most precious item every day at mass if they so want. If a church has adoration one can go, sit and see our Lord. If there is no adoration He is still present in the tabernacle. Our most valuable item is so easily accessible that He can even be stolen and desecrated at times by mentally disturbed people. Compare that to Shinto and Buddhism here in Japan where their sacred objects may only be viewed once every sixty years or so likely with much awe and reverence. That is something we Catholics need to recapture every time we receive the Eucharist or are in its presence we need to have awe and reverence for that sublime Host.