The Second/Third Preservation Activities after the Nagano Hokubu Earthquake ~Part5

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

4.The Base Data and Outline for the Third Preservation Activity

  • Duration: 3days from 8th to 10th of July
  • Participants: Satoshi Shirouzu, Makoto Yanagisawa, Yujiro Hosoi, Tsutomu Suzuki, and Tsuneaki Aragaki. Hiroaki Yamagami cooperated in the field.
  • Schedule: 8th-the discussion about the inspection of the site for candidate repository and the transportation plan for folk-cultural properties. 9th(in the morning)-tagged the utensils in the Hh family’s whitewashed warehouse, (in the afternoon)-the inspection and the extraction of the cultural properties in K temple. 10th(in the morning)-tagged the utensils in the Hh family’s whitewashed warehouse, (in the afternoon)-investigating the Yt family’s folk-cultural utensils and transferring them to the storage area (in the evening)-tagged the utensils in the Hh family’s warehouse

In June, we carried out the preservation activities mainly for the whitewashed warehouse which were scheduled to be demolished, and we could visit almost all houses even though some issues remained. One of them was the Hh family’s folk-cultural utensils which had to be transferred by August, and another problem was determining the proper storage for the traditional materials and historical documents which had been urgently evacuated to the garages. The garages used as temporary spaces were the corrugated galvanized iron structures so we worried that the temperature must be stiflingly hot. Therefore we had to immediately change the surroundings for them. Simultaneously we had already scheduled the transportation operation to be done by the beginning of August, then we also had to establish the concrete plan. The operation to attach the number tags to the folk cultural utensils in the Hh family’s warehouse was also underway. Likewise, there was a case that the traditional utensils were placed on the vinyl sheet because the house which had preserved them had been demolished, so this operation for confirming present condition was also urgent. Additionally the information that a temple in a certain area would be knocked down reached us, and some requested us to inspect the materials which the temple possessed.

Although this third activity was just 2 weeks after the previous one, we felt that it required an urgent investigation in the field. Thus making use of the weekend, we headed to Sakaemura with a few members because it would be more convenient than with a lot of members.

5.The contents and Result of the Third Preservation Operation

5-1. The discussion about the plan for transportation

Mr. Motoki Tanabe who was a member of the Niigata Network for Preserving Historical Materials and had a lot of accomplishments in the area of rescuing cultural properties from natural disasters, participated on the first day, giving us his opinion on how to choose the proper storage locations, and made documents stating the operation plan for transportation of the traditional utensils in detail. We discussed the plan based on his suggestion, and determined that the transportation would be carried out from 7th to 8th of August.

Mr.Tanabe who knew well about those kinds of operations gave us accurate advice for the necessary number of people, the number of trucks and their size, preparations for lunch, securing the resting place and the arrangement of working hours.

5-2.The Decision of the Storage Location

The were 4 suggested storage areas which had been put forward by the local Board of Education. On the first day, the municipal officer guided us around all of them. One of them was a repository for the old archives in a certain cultural facility in Iiyama City which was adjacent to Sakaemura, and the others were private facilities and the building of the former elementary school. The evaluation criteria were the environment, the extent of the structure, and ease of transferring materials in and out.

The ground floor as the repository

By observing each place, the private facilities had some difficulties in loading the materials and the surroundings were not so good. As a result, we chose the former elementary school building. This place had been used as the repository for the folk-cultural properties once, however when we had visited there in June, another company had rented the ground floor. Afterwards, the contract seemed to have expired, and then we could get to use the whole building. A room on the first floor was already used as a repository for some folk-cultural artefacts, and there were several rooms to use for tidying the materials. The ground floor was extremely wide and was separated into 2 rooms, and each of them had a large area. The building was a bit old but it stood near the road and seemed to be convenient for transferring materials.

On the other hand, with regard to the old archives and books, we were worried that changing surroundings from the whitewashed warehouse to another place would have a bad influence on those materials, so there was a question of whether we would preserve them in the temporary storage or not. Thus, when we will transfer them in August, although those documents and books will be once transported by being put in the chests which those materials used to be in before to the former elementary school, we will transfer them to the cultural facilities in Iiyama City 2 months after the first transport. We heard later that Iiyama City had suggested offering this facility to be available to use immediately after the quake. This facility was called ‘Iiyama Furusato-kan’, which was built 6 years ago, and had a fine repository with air conditioning and the equipment for being filled with inert gas.

(to be continued)


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

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