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E1796e – Status of Libraries in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake (As of March 31, 2016) (1)

The original article published in Japanese ( )

Current Awareness-E No.303

19 May, 2016

Status of Libraries in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake (As of March 31, 2016) (1)


This report, along with the article that follows (see E1797), introduces status of libraries in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake between the end of February 2016 and the end of March 2016, following past Current Awareness-E report (see E1771 and others). Five years since the Great East Japan Earthquake, diverse activities and efforts have been made among libraries in disaster affected regions as well as all across Japan.

●Activities of Libraries in Disaster Affected Regions

On February 27, Shanti Volunteer Association (public interest incorporated association) donated an automobile used as mobile library to Tono City, Iwate Prefecture. The automobile had completed its task of running as a mobile library in Otsuchi Town and Yamada Town in Iwate Prefecture for four years after the disaster as part of “Iwate Mobile Library project.” A mobile library of the same project running in Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture also terminated service at the end of March.,34444,78,134,html

A mobile library of Fukushima Prefectural Library that had circulated around Fukushima City since August 1992 terminated its operation on March 11 to be replaced by a new automobile. Replacement was financed with relief money provided by the Government of Kuwait for the Great East Japan Earthquake.

On March 18, Tono Culture Research Center hosted a lecture “Five Years since the Disaster: What Was Tono Able to do with the Power of Culture? (震災から5年 遠野は文化の力で何ができたのか)” at Tono City Library. This session looked back on the center’s “Sanriku Culture Reconstruction Project (三陸文化復興プロジェクト)” and discussed the current situations of Tono.

On March 21, Tagajo City Library opened as the core facility of “City Center Development Project around JR Tagajo Station (JR多賀城駅周辺の中心市街地整備事業).” Municipal Government of Tagajo in Miyagi Prefecture considers this library as the symbol of reconstruction from the disaster.

On March 28, presentation materials and survey outcomes from the basic design workshop of “Oshachi Area Reconstruction Hub Facility (御社地エリア復興拠点施設, tentative name)” was released at Otsuchi Town Hall. Otsuchi Town Library will be part of this complex facility.

●Digital Archives

The following contents were created in the website of NHK Online.

  • An English version of “NHK Great East Japan Earthquake Archives” and 12 videos with English subtitles (March 1).
  • A featured website of “72 Hours after the Earthquake (地震発生から72時間)” was added to “NHK Great East Japan Earthquake Archives” (March 9).
  • “VR of Disaster Remains in Taro District, Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture: 360°VR Report (岩手県宮古市田老地区震災遺構VR~360°VRリポート~),” a content that enables one to spatially re-experience the disaster and tsunami with virtual reality videos of disaster remains (March 10). Online)

On March 2, Google updated Google Street Views of communities in 59 cities, 19 towns, and 4 villages in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures. Google had conducted shooting in these communities as part of “Great East Japan Earthquake Digital Archive Project” from June 2016 to January 2016. These photos are available at “Memories for the Future” project site along with street views before the disaster.

On March 3, announced the launch of “’Succeeding Memories’ Project (「記憶の継承」プロジェクト) using its platforms such as Audible and Kindle. A special website was released on March 10.

On March 9, The Hidenori Watanave Lab and Iwate Nippo Newspaper released “We Shall Never Forget – Last Movements of Tsunami Disaster Victims.” The archive visualized data collected on evacuation behaviors of 1,326 victims from the moment of the earthquake to tsunami.

The following contents were added to “NDL Great East Japan Earthquake Archive (Hinagiku).”

  • Part of title heads of selected special issue articles on the Great East Japan Earthquake (3,115 articles) by Kyodo News published between September 13, 2011 to June 25, 2015 on “47News,” a comprehensive news website managed by Press Net Japan (March 9).
  • A timeline summarizing developments and events on establishment of “Hinagiku” after March 11, 2011 as well as users guide of “Hinagiku” summarizing how to search the contents (March 7).
  • Videos of live deliberations of plenary sessions and committee sessions discussing issues related to the Great East Japan Earthquake in the 177th, 178th, and 180 Diet after March 11, 2011. These videos were released by House of Representatives Internet TV and House of Councillors Internet Deliberation Relay (March 31).

On March 28, Intangible Cultural Heritage Information Network released “Intangible Cultural Heritage Archives” collecting photos and videos on folk performing art and rituals in three prefectures in Northeastern Japan (Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima, known as Tohoku region).

●Activities to Preserve and Pass on the Records

On March 1, National Diet Library revised a website calling for provision of information and submission of photos and videos related to the Great East Japan Earthquake. The website has been managed in partnership with institutions and projects collecting records of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Geospatial Information Authority of Japan released a website “Response of Geospatial Information Authority of Japan During Five Years after the Disaster (震災後5年間の国土地理院の対応)” on March 4. The website summarizes efforts, maps, images, and data observed during five years after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

On March 9, Oxford University Press began a free release of 30 articles on nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station selected from nine journals. The articles are available for free for a year.

On March 11, COOP Miyagi opened a renewed “Learning/Resource Room on the Great East Japan Earthquake (東日本大震災学習・資料室).” This facility passes on to the next generations COOP’s efforts as well as support and encouragement from coops and business partners across Japan.

On March 23, a joint library campaign “Establishing earthquake Archives in libraries” released a pamphlet on utilization of disaster records titled “Turning Records to Power: How About Reading Disaster Records? (記録を力に~震災の記録を読んでみませんか~).”


“Panel Exhibition ‘Hanachan no Hayaaruki Hayaaruki’: We Will Not Forget the Great East Japan Earthquake (『はなちゃんのはやあるきはやあるき』パネル展~東日本大震災を忘れない~)” was held at Koshu City Public Library Kanzoyashiki Children’s Library (Shioyama Library Branch) in Yamanashi Prefecture from January 6 to March 27.

A special exhibition “History in Sea: 10,000 Years of Living with Sea Revealed in Excavation for Reconstruction (海に生きた歴史~復興発掘調査が語る一万年の海との共生~)” was held at Iwate Prefectural Museum from January 14 to March 6. The exhibition presented buried cultural properties and related facilities damaged by tsunami in the Great East Japan Earthquake. An exhibition “Excavating the Islands of Japan 2015” featuring “The Power of Culture for Reconstruction: Reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Buried Cultural Properties Protection” was also held through February 28.

An exhibition titled “’Japanese Language’ and ‘Dialects’ in Iwate Prefecture: From Documents on Local Education Committee from Meiji to early Showa Periods (明治から昭和初期の地方教育会資料が語る岩手県の「国語」と「方言」)” was held at Iwate Prefectural Library from January 30 to February 28. The exhibition was held along with a research briefing on February 20 titled “Let’s Talk in Our Dialect Advanced (おらほ弁で語っぺし発展編).” This was part of a project of Agency for Cultural Affairs on revitalizing dialects in disaster affected regions. A special exhibition “Iwate Prefecture Reconstruction Poster Exhibition (岩手県復興 ポスター展)” was also held through March 24.

A theme exhibition “The Great East Japan Earthquake: Five Years Since (東日本大震災~あれから5年~)” was held at Ibaraki Prefectural Library from January 30 to March 28.

An exhibition “We Will Not Forget That Day: The Great East Japan Earthquake (あの日を忘れない~東日本大震災)” was held at The Utsunomiya City Chuo Library in Tochigi Prefecture from February 3 to March 14.

“Photo Exhibition on Earthquake and Tsunami (地震津波写真展)” was held at Hachinohe City Marient (Museum of Fishery and Science) in Aomori Prefecture from February 6 to March 21.

Hama/Naka/Aizu Cultural Partnership Project Planning Committee (はま・なか・あいづ文化連携プロジェクト実行委員会) hosted “Fukushima Photo Museum Project Outcome Exhibition in Fukushima (福島写真美術館プロジェクト成果展in福島)” at Fukushima Prefecture Renewable Energy Joint Building (福島県再生可能エネルギー合同ビル) in Fukushima City from February 8 to February 21. Using photos, the event presented situations within the prefecture after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

A photo exhibition “Living Here in Fukushima-3.11 and after-” was held at Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main in Germany from February 10 to March 27. This was part of “Disaster Archive Project (震災アーカイブ事業),” efforts of Iwaki Meisei University to preserve disaster records. The same photo exhibition was held at University of Cambridge in United Kingdom from March 4 to March 6 and on March 11.—id-852.html—id-865.html

An exhibition “Memories of Kesennuma and the Great East Japan Earthquake: Rias Ark Museum of Art Records of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Disaster History of Tsunami (気仙沼と,東日本大震災の記憶―リアス・アーク美術館 東日本大震災の記録と津波の災害史―)” was held at Meguro Museum of Art in Tokyo Prefecture from February 13 to March 21. The exhibition introduced the permanent exhibition of Rias Ark Museum of Art in Miyagi Prefecture titled “Documentary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and History of Tsunami.”

An exhibition “We Will Not Forget 3.11 (3・11を忘れない)” was held in Hanamigawa Library in Chiba City from February 19 to March 16. An exhibition titled “Five Years since the Great East Japan Earthquake: Looking Back Chiba with Press Photography (東日本大震災から5年 報道写真でふりかえる千葉)” was held at Chiba City Central Library from February 21 to March 21.

An exhibition “Minamisoma and Nagaoka: Memories and Records of Bonds (南相馬と長岡~絆の記憶と記録)” was held at Minamisoma Public Library in Fukushima Prefecture from February 23 to March 20. The exhibition was hosted in partnership of the library and Nagaoka City Central Library in Niigata Prefecture. Nagaoka City Central Library exhibited the Nagaoka Post-Disaster Reconstruction Collection with photos of evacuation centers that received citizens of Minamisoma City.,29137,123,html

“Book Exhibition: We Will Not Forget 3.11 (「3・11を忘れない」図書展) was held at Kamaishi City Library in Iwate Prefecture from February 24 to March 13.

“Panel Exhibition on The Great East Japan Earthquake (東日本大震災等パネル展)” was held at Fukushima Prefectural Library from February 27 to March 13.

Ichikawa Municipal Library in Chiba Prefecture held a special exhibition for February and March titled “Five Years Since the Disaster: Thinking about Future Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (震災から5年-これからの防災・減災を考える).”

A mini exhibition on the Great East Japan Earthquake “3.11 and 〇〇” was held at Chiba Prefectural West Library from March 1 to March 31. The exhibition introduced records of behaviors and thoughts of people in diverse fields.

“Book Exhibitions of the Great East Japan Earthquake (東日本大震災の本展)” looking back five years of reconstruction efforts was held at Tono City Library from March 3 to March 29.

An exhibition on animals affected in Fukushima Prefecture “Succeeding Lives: Not Giving Up the Animals in Fukushima (いのちをつなぐ~福島の動物たちをあきらめない~)” was held at Funabashi Kitaguchi Mirai Library in Chiba Prefecture from March 9 and March 13. The exhibition was hosted by “Katsurao Animals Watch Team (かつらお動物見守り隊),” volunteers for feeding dogs and cats around Katsurao Village in Fukushima Prefecture.

Minamisanriku Library in Miyagi Prefecture held “The Great East Japan Earthquake Exhibition (東日本大震災展)” from March 14 to March 30. The exhibition presented newspapers, photos, and panels on March 11, 2011.,5975,c,html/5975/20160301-114256.pdf

Kawasaki City Nakahara Library in Kanagawa Prefecture held an exhibition “1,800 Days from the Disaster, Looking Back the Great East Japan Earthquake (震災から1800日,東日本大震災を振り返る)” from March 1 to March 21. Presented were photos of libraries in disaster affected regions, volunteer activities, and visits to the affected communities in Miyagi Prefecture.

Aomori Prefecture Community Education Center, The Museum of Modern Aomori Literature, and Aomori Prefectural Library cohosted “3.11: We Will Not Forget the Moment (3.11 忘れないあの時)” from March 1 to March 31. In addition to exhibitions of books and photos, events and lectures were held.

An exhibition titled “Let’s Not Forget: Five Years Since the Great East Japan Earthquake (忘れずにいよう-東日本大震災から5年-)” was held at Tohoku Fukushi University Library in Miyagi Prefecture from March 3 to March 23.

“Exhibition on Disaster” was held at Osaka Prefectural Central Library from March 8 to March 20. The exhibition presented a hazard map showing predicted damage of Nankai Trough Earthquake as well as photos of damage caused by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake.

“The Fifth Ishinomaki Kahoku Reconstruction Photo Exhibition: Steps of Reconstruction (第5回石巻かほく復興写真展~復興の歩みを見つめて)” was held at Higashimatsushima Library in Miyagi Prefecture between March 16 and March 24.

Exhibition on the Great East Japan Earthquake “The Fifth March 11: We Will Not Forget (5年目の3.11~風化させない 忘れまい~)” was held at Ichinoseki Library of Ichinoseki Public Libraries in Iwate Prefecture through March 23.

Written by Research and Information Section
Library Support Division, Kansai-kan of the National Diet Library

Translated by Okada Aya