100 days After the East Japan Earthquake

~From the blog on June 20th of the Fukushima Network for Preserving Historical Materials~

June 18th was the day when 100 days passed after the East Japan Earthquake.

The following is the report about the present condition in Fukushima Prefecture and the upcoming activities.

On June 17th, with the officer who took charge of the lifelong learning in Iidate Village board of education, the former officer who worked compiling the Iidate village history, and the vice president of the council for the Iidate Village’s cultural properties as the observers, we transferred hundreds of old archives in Iidate Village to the Fukushima Prefectural History Archives.

Iidate Village is a beautiful mountain village which chose to carry out the original policy as the way to survive in the circumstances of the depopulation instead of the consolidation of municipalities. The damage of the earthquake in Iidate Village is not so serious compared to the other areas, probably owing to its location on the Abukuma Highland whose ground is very stable. However, this village was designated as the Planned Evacuation Zone due to the accident of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, and the whole village was ordered for evacuation. The rice fields and patches are suffering from neglect, and all of shops are no longer opened, except for one retail shop and some petrol stations.

As from 22th June, the function of the village office will move to Iinocho, Fukushima City. Because there was a risk that we would not be able to carry out the sufficient management for the historical documents, so we carried out the abovementioned measure. With regard to the other materials, we are now negotiating how to transfer them.

Yesterday, June 19th the Yamagata Relief Network for Cultural Heritage expanded their regular meeting which was titled as “100 days after the great disaster —the report of the present condition and the upcoming issue” and it was held in Yamagata City. The historical materials damaged by the Tsunami in Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures are now being transferred to the Yamagata Prefecture, and the cleaning and preserving measures are being done one after another mainly by the students and other voluntary workers. We bow our heads in gratitude for their efforts. At the meeting, because the secretariat office of the Yamagata Network gave about 25 minutes to us, we reported our present condition in Fukushima.

In terms of the upcoming schedule of our activity, we will secure the place to tidy up the historical documents cooperated with Fukushima University, and we plan the project for cleaning the materials which were rescued, and making temporary lists of them.

Moreover, although we had been up to rescue historical materials from the devastated area so far, we will try to arrange and discuss how to secure the safekeeping places for them and those who take the responsibility of management for them, as we mediate between the owners and the manager of preservation institutions, because there is a possibility that there will be a shortage of the preservation spaces.

We appreciate your long term support and cooperation.

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About Nerwork for Historical Materials
A volunteer group for preserving Cultural Heritage suffered from natural disasters

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