E1991e - Status of Libraries in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake (As of January 31, 2018)

The original article published in Japanese ( http://current.ndl.go.jp/e1991 )

Current Awareness-E No.341

8 February, 2018

Status of Libraries in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake (As of January 31, 2018)


This report introduces major information on status of libraries in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake between mid-October of 2017 and the end of January 2018, following past Current Awareness-E reports (see E1961 and others).

●Activities of Libraries in Disaster Affected Regions

On November 2, Tomioka Public Library in Fukushima Prefecture collected ideas on book caravan (exhibition of sample books) and books to be shelved at Tomioka Town Art & Media Center scheduled to reopen in April 2018. The library had been closed due to the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

On January 23, a prayer ceremony for construction safety was held in Minamisanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture. Its library and community center that were completely destroyed by the Great East Japan Earthquake will be rebuilt as “Lifelong Learning Center.”

●Developments in Digital Archives

On November 13, Japanese Red Cross Society and the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University in the United States signed a memorandum on meta-data partnership of digital archives. The Japanese Red Cross Society has released a digital archive that includes records of relief activities for the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

On November 16, municipal government of Tagajo City in Miyagi Prefecture and the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University in the United States signed a memorandum on partnership and cooperation between “Tagajo Kenbunoku,” an archive of the Great East Japan Earthquake managed by the former, and “Japan Disasters Digital Archive (JDA)” of the latter.

On December 7, video clips of press conferences and meetings of Nuclear Regulation Authority in 2016 was added to the National Diet Library (NDL) Great East Japan Earthquake Archive (Hinagiku).

●Activities to Preserve and Pass on the Records

On December 27, Prefectural Government of Fukushima announced a summary of the project to establish “The Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Archive Hub Facility (東日本大震災・原子力災害アーカイブ拠点施設)” at the Fifth meeting of Fukushima Innovation Coast Innovation Coast Scheme Promotion Committee held in Fukushima Prefecture.


Mini exhibitions were held at “Collection on the Great East Japan Earthquake (東日本大震災文庫)” of Miyagi Prefectural Library. The theme between October 11 and December 9, 2017 was “Disaster and Tsunami (震災と津波),” and “Disaster the Earthquake (震災と地震)” for December 10, 2017 and January 25, 2018.

An exhibition “Using Art to Convey and to Think about Fukushima Today and the Future in FUKUSHIMA (アートで伝える考える福島の今、未来 in FUKUSHIMA)” was held at Fukushima University Library for three periods (October 12-29, November 15-28, and December 9-21). The exhibition was hosted by 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), and co-hosted by Fukushima University Fukushima Future Center for Regional Revitalization (FURE). Themes for the three periods were: “ Regional History/Folklore and the Disaster (地域の歴史・民俗と震災),” “Before and After the Disaster (震災以前・震災以後),” and “Future of Fukushima (福島の未来)” respectively. In addition to video clips and photos, FURE’s achievements in preservation of disaster remains and archive activities were exhibited during the second and the third periods.

The 2017 exhibition of the Nagaoka Post-Disaster Reconstruction Collection titled “Records and Memories of Disaster Evacuation Centers (震災避難所の記録と記憶)” was held at Nagaoka Central Library in Niigata Prefecture from October 18 to November 5. Exhibited were records on management of evacuation centers that operated for Mid-Niigata Prefecture Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake.

From October 28 to December 16, the 17th exhibition titled “Facing Damaged Regions: Efforts to Rescue Cultural Properties (被災地と向き合う-文化財レスキューの取り組み-)” was held at Hirosaki University Museum in Aomori Prefecture. Exhibited were folkcraft articles, materials on faith, and household tools rescued in Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture.

From November 3 to December 6, an exhibition titled “Iitate Village in Ten Years: Hopes and Goals (10年後の飯舘村―願い・目標―)” was held at Fukushima Prefectural Library. Exhibited were photos of Iitate Village in Soma District of Fukushima Prefecture before and after the disaster.

On December 4, an exhibition of materials of Tohoku University Disaster Library began at Tohoku University Library. The theme for December 2017 was “Affected Regions as : The Great East Japan Earthquake and History for the Future (《記憶の場》としての被災地―東日本大震災とこれからの歴史学―)” and “Disasters and Children (震災と子どもたち)” for January 2018.

From January 11 to January 25, Municipal Government of Fukushima hosted “Panel Exhibition on the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Nuclear Disaster (東日本大震災原子力災害パネル展)” at Shirakawa City Library Libran in Fukushima Prefecture.

●Events, Lectures, Training Sessions, and Seminars

On October 24, Hachimantai City Library in Iwate Prefecture hosted a literary walk “Visiting Rikuzentakata: Disaster and Reconstruction (陸前高田を訪ねる~震災と復興~).” Visits were made to remains and memorial facilities of the disaster in Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture.

On December 8, The 28th Iwate University Meeting for Learning and Exchange on Gender Equality “Human Resource Development Utilizing Experience of Diverse People for Reconstruction (第28回岩手大学男女共同参画推進のための学習と交流の会「多様な人びとの経験を復興に活かす人材育成」)”was held at Iwate University Library. The event was hosted by the Office for Gender Equality, Iwate University. The office has been engaged in reconstruction efforts for the Great East Japan Earthquake from the perspective of gender equality.

On January 11, National Diet Library and Tohoku University International Research Institute of Disaster Science hosted “The Great East Japan Earthquake Archive Symposium: The Significance of Disaster Earthquake Archive Built by the Affected Prefectures” at Tohoku University.


On November 30, Shanti Volunteer Association (public interest incorporated association) published “Challenges and Hopes: The Great East Japan Earthquake – 2000 days of Supporting Affected Regions (試練と希望:東日本大震災・被災地支援の二〇〇〇日).” Shanti has been engaged in mobile library activities in regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

In January, “Let’s Develop a Community Archive! Records of Struggles at Sendai Mediatheque ‘Center for Remembering 3.11’ (コミュニティ・アーカイブをつくろう!:せんだいメディアテーク「3がつ11にちをわすれないためにセンター」奮闘記)” by Tomohisa Sato, Kenji Kai, and Hisashi Kitano was published.

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