Cultural heritage rooted in local life and the surrounding historic cities are a valuable social common capital. They are the result of human cultural activities that have matured through a long time and which, once lost, cannot be recreated ever again.

While maintaining the cultural values that we have inherited from our predecessors, it is our duty to hand these on to the next generation by protecting them from the threat of disaster damage.

We believe that a new idea on the integration of arts and science is necessary for making disaster mitigation considered as a part of culture. This idea enables the disaster mitigation which respects to local community and tradition, and utilizes water and woods in the area, without impairing the traditional characteristics of cultural heritage and historic cities. That is, disaster mitigation for cultural heritage involves the integration of the study for the preservation of culture as arts and the one for the protection of cities and buildings from disasters as science. We intend to establish a platform where both domestic and international researchers and research projects are assembled by employing information technologies such as GIS and digital archives by cooperating with Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University.

Besides, it is also our urgent mission to offer the support for the establishment of disaster mitigation measures for historic cities. Practical education and research are the must, thereby promoting the cooperation with industry, government, and the local community.

Learning from traditions and working towards the development of new technologies together with businesses, actively lead disaster mitigation planning for historic towns and cultural heritage together with the local communities and administrations, engage in risk management activities for World Heritage in collaboration with relevant international organizations, we are dedicated to promoting practice-oriented activities that make the best use of our networks.

Developing “Disaster Mitigation of Cultural Heritage and Historic Cities” conducting research about history and traditions that convey and transmit cultural values, acquiring practice-oriented techniques for disaster mitigation, training professionals who can work immediately on the ground as well as young researchers who are responsible for the future development of research, we are determined to establish an education and research environment which will enable us to contribute to society and play our role as the central base hub for this field of discipline in the world.

We sincerely thank you for your kind support and cooperation.

Director, Takeyuki OKUBO
Institute of Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage,
Ritsumeikan University