We examine characteristics of the stone monuments related to flood or debris flow disasters in Hiroshima prefecture based on official records of the past disasters, results of a field survey, and interviews with inhabitants living near the monuments.
As a result, there are at least 40 monuments in Hiroshima prefecture in memory of 14 major disaster events dating from AD1831. Most of the monuments are distributed in and around the damaged area. There are located in local community centers, temples, and shrines, where the local people visit frequently.
The contents of the inscriptions built during and before World War II, have had plentiful information related to the process of building the foundations of the monuments, and the details of disaster damage and restoration work. The contents inscribed on those monuments built after the war, have mainly implied sentiments about rest for the souls of disaster victims or memorial of restoration work.
In conclusion, these monuments have the potential to inform local people about the exact area affected and the situation of past disasters for a long time. There are few cases where local people use the monuments for disaster prevention activities. Although there are currently few cases where local people use the monuments for disaster prevention activities, doing so would definitely prove to be advantageous.