2021 Volume 130 Issue 2 Pages 177-196
Records describing past natural disasters are essential for promoting disaster prevention, because they can indicate the risk of disasters in a specific region at a specific time. The experience of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake was a lesson on the importance of recording and archiving all details of disasters. Since then, disaster archives have been created for the affected areas. Compilation of disaster archives is in progress for various natural disasters that occurred after 2011. Problems facing historical archives of tsunami disasters in the Sanriku coastal area are investigated and the contents required of future disaster archives are discussed. Records included in the study are as follows: images of disaster scenes and tsunami boulders after the 1896 Meiji Sanriku Tsunami, monument to the 1933 Showa Sanriku Tsunami, publications covering disasters, and disaster experience centers. Some archive facilities had to be closed due to changes in social conditions and some information records have become too weathered to decipher, which may prevent an understanding of the details of past disasters and lessons to be learned. Disaster records communicate the type and degree of damage at the time of a disaster and provide educational information. It is, therefore, important to preserve these records in perpetuity, while continuing to add new information and records.