Pamphlet for Global COE Program for Education, Research and Development of Strategy on Disaster Mitigation of Cultural Heritage and Historic Cities. Available for download


42nd Kyoto Society of Historical Disaster (December 5, 2011)

Lake Biwa Canal Museum of Kyoto researcher Masatoshi SHIRAKI gave a presentation on "The Political Process of the Construction of a Domestic Water Supply to the Kyoto Imperial Palace: Use of Water from the Lake Biwa Canal in the Late Meiji Period." Mr. Shiraki first touched on the relationship between the Lake Biwa Canal and the transportation of water for domestic use to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and went on to recount the stages in the construction of a water supply to the Imperial Palace and related issues. On the basis of detailed documents, he explained how the water for the Imperial Palace was conveyed to Kyoto using pipes and culverts, joining the city sewage system; and though at first the Palace household water was collected for fire-fighting purposes, this was discontinued.

41st Kyoto Society of Historical Disaster (November 14, 2011)

Eiko ISHIKAWA, a researcher at the Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution, Kobe, gave a presentation on "Regeneration and Town-Making (Machizukuri): Issues Encountered in Helping Restoration Planning for Minami-Sanriku," in which she touched on various problems uncovered in helping the restoration efforts for the town of Minami-Sanriku after the Great East Japan Earthquake of nearly six months ago. These included the fact that the frequently practiced earthquake emergency exercises were premised on the town's experience after the Chile tsunamis; and the fact that there are clear differences in urban areas and fishing villages in regeneration. Restoration plans are now heading into the crucial stage, which will require enormous collaborative efforts.

Regular G-COE Project Meeting (November 12, 2011)

The regular G-COE project meeting was held at the Research Center for Disaster Mitigation Systems. Reports were given by relevant people on international efforts being developed under the G-COE program as follows. 1. International Training Course as UNESCO Chair Program (ITAYA); 2 Projects in Nepal (OKUBO, YOSHIDA); and 3. Latest International Efforts in the Training of Young Experts in Cultural Heritage and Disaster Management (KANEGAE). Energetic efforts are being made in all three areas, and these will continue. G-COE leader Takeyuki OKUBO then gave a summary of the package of counter measures being developed under the G-COE program to promote protection of cultural heritage properties in the event of disasters, which was followed by an enthusiastic discussion.

Regular G-COE Project Meeting (October 8, 2011)

The regular G-COE meeting was held at the Research Center for Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage (the Center). Presentations were given from each project group, and enthusiastic discussion ensued. Presenters and titles were as follows: Mayuko YONEJIMA (Doctoral Program, Graduate School of Letters), "Cultural Heritage Property and the Distribution of Mosquitoes"; Akira DAIZO (Doctoral Program, Graduate School of Science and Engineering), "Assessment of Distinctive Features in the Ground Under the Collapsed Stone Walls of Sendai Castle Based on Innovative On-Site Tests"; Michiko HAYASHI (Research Associate, Department of Civil Engineering, College of Science and Engineering), "Use of Regional Cultural Heritage Sites as Evacuation Centers in the Great East Japan Earthquake: The Case of Tsunami-Hit Areas in Greater Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture"; and Yuji MORISHITA, "Edo Period Fire Protection Strategies: Urban Policy in the Tempo Era".

UNESCO Chair program on Cultural Heritage and Risk Management International Training Course on Disaster Risk Management of Cultural Heritage 2011 (September 10, 2011)

From September 10 to 24, over a period of two weeks, we held our 6th International Training Course on Disaster Risk Management of Cultural Heritage. This year's course had the theme of an Integrated Approach for Disaster Risk Mitigation of Historic Cities, and there were 9 participants, from Columbia, Jamaica, Mexico, Kenya, Uganda, India, Bangladesh and China. The course consisted of lectures, on-site visits and workshops on world heritage sites in Kyoto, as well as case study projects from each of the countries of the participants. In addition, this year we had special lectures concerning the Great East Japan Earthquake. We also had an on-site training in Minami-Sanriku town, Miyagi Prefecture.

The UNESCO Chair International Training Course on Disaster Risk Management of Cultural Heritage is held with the help of instructors comprising researchers from Ritsumeikan University and other institutions, experts from international organizations and governmental organizations, and on-site specialists, and the enthusiastic participation of trainees from various countries around the globe. This Center is committed to continually enhancing the contents of the program, and will increase efforts to promote further disaster mitigation of cultural heritage properties.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple visit

Risk analysis exercise for Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Minami-Sanriku on-site training (Fishery Promotion Center, Gyoryukan)
Minami-Sanriku on-site training (Sanmon Gate, Daio-ji Temple)
Role playing exercise for emergency response procedures
Presentation of course completion certificates

40th Kyoto Society of Historical Disaster (July 11, 2011)

Yuichiro NISHIMURA (associate professor, Nara Women's University, Department of History, Sociology and Geography, Faculty of Letters) gave a presentation titled "Disaster Information-Sharing Using GIS: Possibilities and Issues." Much progress has been made since GIS was found, in the Hanshin-Awaji Great Earthquake of 1995, to be a highly effective tool for recording, mapping and disseminating disaster data.

Especially since the use of the participatory GIS was expanded, there have been a large number of remarkable achievements in post-disaster recovery and restoration. However, he also pointed out some problems, for instance, of clarifying who the participatory GIS is aimed at.

The 5th Symposium on Disaster Mitigation of Cultural Heritage and Historical Cities (July 2, 2011)

The 5th Symposiume on Disaster Mitigation of Cultural Heritage and Historical Cities was held at Ritsumeikan University's Biwako-Kusatsu Campus. A total of 47 research presentations on disaster mitigation of urban cultural heritage and cultural assets were given, followed by lively discussion; more than 120 persons participated from all over Japan. The sessions covered a wide variety of topics, including disaster mitigation in urban area, social systems, emergency evacuation behavior, historical assets, fires, fire fighting, disaster mitigation technologies, earthquake resistance, the Great East Japan Earthquake, disaster damage, case studies from overseas, and slope disaster mitigation. The next conference is scheduled for July 2012.

The research findings presented at the conference have been published as Disaster Mitigation of Cultural Heritage and Historical Cities, Vol. 5.