The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Local knowledge in disaster recovery: Rebuilding of intangible culture and the transmission of memories

Joint Research Coordinator HASHIMOTO Hiroyuki

Reserch Theme List


disaster, recovery, local knowledge


To record the personal experiments and ensure their preservation for future generations, many experiments have been conducted. The victims themselves have been asked to write about their experiences. Alternatively, third parties have interviewed them and recorded what they said. In recent years, when unexpected disasters strike, there have been attempts at disaster ethnography, recording the words of officials and firemen responding to disasters as well as ordinary citizens, with the aim of sharing lessons learned during the disasters. Because, however, disaster ethnography has been intended to contribute to disaster prevention and reducing the impact of disasters, research has been limited to immediately after the disaster or in the unnatural environments of the places to which victims flee. This research will focus on practical and experiential (customary) knowledge formed through everyday interaction with the natural and social environment, how it affects the response of the victims and their efforts to rebuilt, and its role in the reconstruction of local society. It will draw attention to the need to preserve this experience, examine its social and historical background, and contribute to greater understanding. The primary focus will be on intangible culture affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.