The Second/Third Preservation Activities after the Nagano Hokubu Earthquake ~Part4

~The report about the suffered area in Sakaemura Village published on July 15th~

3-4.The Team Organisation consisting of both History and Folklore

In these activities, the voluntary workers were assembled from each place and we could smoothly advance our operation. The previous survey and rescue operation was carried out with our members who had many experiences in researching Sakaemura together,whereas this operation team was very different from that. Some of the members this time were from faraway places such as Kobe or Ehime Prefectures, and we can find the feature of several curators also participating in our activities. The participants’ details were as follows; 3 members from the university, a teacher of the technical college, 7 curators, 5 postgraduate and or occasional students, 1 municipal officer who has a duty for the cultural affairs, 2 officers for compiling regional history and a local supporter.

Confirming by the specialists

The schedules to visit each owner’s house requiring urgent investigation conflicted with others convenience, so there was a case that we had to carry out up to 3 operations in the same day and at the same time. Moreover, owner’s houses usually preserved both  historical documents and folk-cultural utensils. Thus, we roughly classified the participants into the experts of history and those of folklore, and organised that every team was composed of each 2-3 members from both fields, and we established 3 groups. As a result, this method worked very efficiently.

3-5.The Utilisation of BBS

To send information to every participant who came from faraway places without omission was an issue. Therefore we urgently booted up the BBS page on the Internet, and made use of introducing themselves to each other, informing investigation schedules or meeting times, applying to the activities, confirming the rescue tools which would be required in the upcoming operation, and conveying the activity policy. BBS was available to be update or be referred to from each mobile phone, so we could also inform about the activity on the next day, meeting times and places in the field where we couldn’t connect to the Internet from the computer. In addition, we had to exchange the personal information about the owners’ addresses on the BBS, we configured a simple password to enter so as to avoid the access from the antique dealers with commercial purposes.

Historical documents discovered from the old house

3-6. The Donations from Several Networks for Historical Materials

It is worthy of special mention that our activities were financially supported by several Networks for historical materials and private donations. The beginning was a contact from Mr Itagaki who was a member of the Network for Historical Materials and had an experience of investigating in Sakaemura with us. Afterwards, NHM, the Niigata Rescue Network for Historical Materials and individuals sent contributions to our group. Therefore, we could add them to the expenses for traveling, lodging and buying rescue tools.

The voluntary participants spent their holidays changing their work schedules with their own expense. We had worried that it would be costly for them to pay traveling fees to the field and lodging fees, and it would make it difficult to continuously carry out the operations. In that sense, the fact that we could receive donations was extremely meaningful. Taking this opportunity, we would like to express our gratitude to the institutions and individuals who contributed to us.

The whitewashed warehouse affected by the quake

(to be continued)


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

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