Since March 11th, 2011, all the research institutes of the National Institutes for the Humanities (NIHU) have worked on recovery and reconstruction support for the stricken areas in the Tohoku region.  Each institute, building on its specialized knowledge and experience, has made good progress.  On the other hand, it has become clear that restoring a local culture destroyed in a catastrophic disaster involves complex tasks and entails tremendous effort.  To provide effective support, it is essential to deal with a local culture not piecemeal but as a whole.  This requires careful consideration and the respect for diverse views that is characteristic of the “human sciences,” covering studies of history, literature, folklore, linguistics, archives, museums, information, and environment.  In order to accomplish this mission, in April of 2012 NIHU started a collaborative research project entitled “Research in the Human Sciences on Catastrophic Disasters.”

This project is divided into three sections, and each section has two sub-sections.

A Research on reconstruction and revival of local culture and environment

Theme: Restoring ties between people that have been severed by a disaster
Goal: To revive and rebuild communities through dialects and festivals

B Research on museum activities and collaborations

Theme: Protecting material cultural against disasters
Goal: To develop an effective system for preserving and restoring materials and for cooperation
        between museums

C Research on the preservation and use of materials

Theme: Maintaining documents and other paper-based materials and putting them to practical use
Goal: To implement a system for protecting paper documents against disasters and for restoring
        documents that have been damaged