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E1864e – Impact on Libraries by the Earthquake with Epicenter in Central Tottori

The original article published in Japanese ( )

Current Awareness-E No.316

8 Decemberber, 2016

Impact on Libraries by the Earthquake with Epicenter in Central Tottori


An earthquake with its epicenter in Central Tottori that struck on October 21, 2016 caused wide range of damages. This report presents status of libraries impacted by this earthquake based on information available up to December 7, 2016.

●Impact on Libraries

Some public and university libraries within Tottori Prefecture around regions that observed seismic intensity of six lower announced temporal closure. Tottori Prefectural Library released on its website situations of damage among public libraries within Tottori Prefecture.

Among public libraries that closed, Yurihama Town Library resumed its usual opening hours on October 23, Kurayoshi City Library and Kurayoshi City Sekigane Library on October 28, Misasa Public Library in Misasa Town, Hokuei Town Library, Hokuei Town Library Hokujo Branch on November 1. From November 25 to December 21, Kurayoshi City Library is exhibiting photos that captured situations inside the library at the time of the earthquake as well as its recovery process.

Among public libraries, five opened after the earthquake despite falling of materials: Tottori City Ketaka Library, Public Library of Iwami Town, Yazu Town Funaoka Library (八頭町立船岡図書館),Kotoura Town Library, and Nanbu Public Tenman Library.

Among university libraries, Library of Tottori College of Nursing and Tottori College in Kurayoshi City closed all day for falling of materials on October 24, the next opening day after the earthquake. The library also canceled an event that was scheduled along the university festival on October 22 and 23. The library reopened on October 25 without night hours. Night hours resumed on November 14.

Among school libraries, information on scattered materials at Kurayoshi City Seitoku Elementary School library and Tottori Prefectural Kurayoshi Agricultural High School library room was released.

●Impact on Museums

While Kurayoshi Museum had been closed after the earthquake, part of the museum reopened on December 3. Exhibition room No.5 in need of repair continue to be closed, and the museum aims for full opening in August 2017. Tottori City History Museum has been open as usual after the earthquake, but canceled an event scheduled on October 22. Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory in Hokuei-cho was closed on October 22, but the adjacent store reopened on October 23 and the museum reopened fully on October 26.

On the other hand, Tottori Nijisseiki Pear Museum in Kurayoshi City announced temporal closure on October 22, and continues to be closed as of today.

●Movements to Preserve Damaged Materials

On October 21, San’in Network for Historical Materials (山陰歴史資料ネットワーク or Sanin Shiryo Net) launched a Facebook page calling for collection and preservation of information on damage of historical materials and local cultural properties.

On October 24, Network for Historical Materials (Shiryo Net) released “For Residents in Regions Affected by the Earthquake with Epicenter in Central Tottori and For Disaster Volunteers (Request for Preservation of Historical Materials) (鳥取県中部を震源とする地震の被災地のみなさま,ならびに災害ボランティアのみなさまへ (歴史資料保全のお願い)).” The appeal asked people not to throw away ancient documents found in the process of recovering from the disaster.

On October 25, Sanin Shiryo Net and Study Group on Local History of Tottori (鳥取地域史研究会) jointly released “Urgent Appeal on Preservation of Historical Materials Damaged by Central Tottori Earthquake (鳥取県中部地震による被災歴史資料の保存に関する緊急アピール).” When discarding damaged household articles, the appeal encouraged people to consult local Board of Education, Sanin Shiryo Net, or Study Group on Local History of Tottori about questions on selecting materials to preserve or on how to preserve.

On October 25, City Government of Kurayoshi called for preservation of historical materials in possession of private entities, such as ancient documents and folk materials.

On October 28, Kurayoshi Museum called for checking ancient documents, local records, folk materials such as tools for farming and everyday use in damaged buildings.

●Actions by Organizations Related to Libraries
On October 26, Japan Library Association (JLA) reported situations of damage in “JLA Email Magazine” (Vol.821) disseminated the same day.


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