News Letter from Iwate Network(July 24th) ~The Latter Part

~The extract from the news letter on July 24th of the Iwate Network for Historical and Folk-cultural Materials~

The Suggestion from the Iwate Network for Historical and Folk-cultural Materials(draft)

1.As the ‘Urgent Efforts’, the Prefectural Plan is suggesting that “Restoring and conserving the historical materials and cultural properties in the devastated area by carrying out the rescue operation”.

     1-a. It goes without saying that now restoring and conserving is needed, however the thorough investigation of the extent of damage is indeed required, and this issue should be our priorty. The whole picture of the damage is still unclear. At present, grasping the present condition of not only the municipally designated properties, but also non-designated ones will be required as much as we possibly can.

     1-b. In the Prefectural Promotion Planning, “the Urgent Effort” is estimated to be carried out within approximately a year. However, observing the present situation, we consider that restoring the cultural properties will require much longer, so that should be set as  a “Short-term Effort” to be undertaken within 3 years.

2.With regard to the second heading of the “Medium-term Effort” which states that “Making good use of the historical materials and cultural properties in the devastated area in the school education, and promoting to understand the history and culture in each community”. Needless to say that it is important to make use of them in the school education, however the meaning of learning historical materials and cultural properties is not confined only to the school education. The historical, archaeological, or folk-cultural properties have various importance as heritage concerned with the community’s identity, or researcher’s subject. This point of view is clearly written, “ topass down the history and culture which have been ceaselessly inherited in the community by the next generation”, “ as the “shape which the reconstruction will aim for”. Additionally, the Planning also says that “promoting making a living environment by the residents themselves based on their history, culture, tradition and people’s emotion to their home town.” However, we consider that it should be concretely written as a “the Medium-term Effort”. To bring up the bearers who protect the historical materials and cultural properties and establishing the preservation system will be required, and they should be allocated as one of the “Medium-term Efforts”.

3.In the “Short-term Effort”, the Promotion Planning states that “Supporting the revival of the traditional performing arts which were protected and promoted in each community” though, the folk-cultural performance has been supported and continued by the local community. Under heading 1, it is stated that “activating and reproducing the local community”, it includes the suggestion about the reproduction of the local community, however we would like the Promotion Plan to suggest the revival of the folk-cultural performance as being connected to the renewal of the local community.

4. In terms of  “continuing to investigate the buried properties as well as tidying and making use of the excavated artefacts” in the 4th heading of the “Medium-term Effort”. This only mentions the excavated artefacts, then we wondered how they consider about preserving sites themselves. In such a description, it make people misunderstand that the sites are not the objects to be preserved.

5.In the Promotion Planning, although it emphasises “creating the disaster prevention system culture”, it doesn’t mention how to create the preservation system for the cultural properties, which can survive the forthcoming disasters. Therefore, we would like to suggest 2 points as follows.

     5-a. We, the Iwate Network for Historical and Folk-cultural Materials carried out the investigation about the extent of damage and supported the rescue operation in the devastated area. We suggest that we should establish the disaster prevention system for cultural properties combining  with the municipal office, researchers, history enthusiasts and local people. The Promotion Planning states “all of the members in the community will associate in, as becoming reconstruction members”, so we consider that this point will be also required to give shape to the disaster prevention system for the cultural properties.

     5-b. Fortunately, at present, some of the historical materials which were saved from being washed away are going to be repaired. However we presume that many of them were washed away or scattered. To prepare for the forthcoming disaster, based on the detailed confirmation of both designated and non-designated cultural properties’ location across the Prefecture, establishing the backup system for the cultural properties through making the investigative records and digital data, and to keep the actual damage to a minimum will be required.The system which prevents the disappearance from not only earthquakes and tsunamis, but also the various disasters or robbery is necessary

     5-c. Many administrative documents were also damaged by the quake. We consider that establishing the Prefectural Archives should be concretely discussed for safely retaining those materials and making use of them.

6.In the Promotion Planning, the necessity of “passing down the experience and teachings to the future ages”, however we consider that how to record this disaster should also be discussed. At the Meiji Sanriku Earthquake and Tsunami(1886) and the Showa Sanriku Earthquake and Tsunami(1933), the detailed records about the damage and reconstruction were drawn out. The East Japan Earthquake, which occurred on an unprecedented scale, should be passed down from generation to generation, the record about them should be created in greater detail.

(The end)

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

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