Ibaraki Network News Letter vol.22

We received a memorandum which reported the operation for tidying the materials rescued from the group of Hirakata whitewashed warehouses in Kitaibaraki City, from Mr Tetsuya Shirai, who instructed the operation over 2 days. The following is his original report.


In Kitaibaraki City, on September, we carried out the rescue operation of historical materials from 5 whitewashed warehouses. As for the detailed report, please see the Journal of ‘Rekishi Hyoron’ vol.749. As some of the materials are now managed in the Ibaraki University we carried out the tidying operations for mainly daily utensils. Over 2 days, approximately 20 members, from inside and outside of Ibaraki Prefecture, participated in our operation. We express our gratitude to them.

On 19th, the heavy rain fell heavily upon us due to the passing of a tropical cyclone though, we started the operation in the temporary holding space from 10:00am. The problem of this operation was how to choose the materials which would be disposed, because we will have to ask the owners to preserve the remaining hereafter. With regard to the sequence of the operation, first of all we recorded the present condition of each material. Secondly, we made a list of the materials which were regarded as being eligible to be preserve, and finally we recorded the outline of remained materials. The temporary holding space did not have any electricity or a water supply, so we finished our operation at around 4:00 pm because we could not see the letters on the documents due to the darkness caused by the bad weather. In addition, we were interviewed by the NHK Mito branch in the morning, and it was broadcasted on the news at 12:10 and 18:50.

On 20th, the weather changed for the better, and we started at 10:00am, the same as the day before. However, when we held the morning meeting, an earthquake occurred at the end of it, therefore we evacuated outdoors. According to the news, a Mg 6 earthquake hit the Hitachi City area twice; however our feeling in the field was that the quake perpetually lasted over 5 minutes. Our operation was the same as the day before, and as a result of our efforts, we could further the operation by choosing a large amount of materials. In terms of the daily utensils, we found the items concerned with the marine product processing industries or bowls which were produced in the Meiji(*) period, likewise, we confirmed the existence of hanging scrolls and accounting books from the modern times.

The rescue operation of historical materials in the group of Hirakata whitewashed warehouses got through the critical stages. But some action is still needed. We appreciate your continuous support.

Testuya Shirai


The lecture and the exhibition for the activity of the Ibaraki Network for preserving historical materials will be held!

On 14th December, in Ibaraki University, Shu Takahashi, a secretariat officer of the Ibaraki Network will hold a lecture of the rescue operation. Additionally, accompanied with the lecture, the photo exhibition and the special exhibition of the rescue operations by the Ibaraki Network will be also held. Everyone is warmly invited to come and listen, so please visit Ibaraki University.

1.Lecture: The rescue activities for Ibaraki Prefecture’s historical materials damaged by the East Japan Earthquake

  • Date: 14th December, 2:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Place: The Ibaraki University Auditorium in Mito Campus
  • Lecturer: Shu Takahashi

2.The exhibition

  • Photo exhibition: The rescue activities of damaged historical materials and cultural properties in Ibaraki Prefecture
  • Special exhibition: The wonderland within Fusuma –from the historical materials rescued from devastated area
  • Date: From 14th to 19th of December, 11:00am to 5:00pm
  • Place: the exhibition hall of Ibaraki University Library

* Meiji Period: A division of Japanese history which spanned from 1868 to 1912.


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

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