Lessons from Tohoku at The Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution

July 23rd, 2012By Category: Uncategorized

Earlier this year, we reached the first anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster. Although many challenges still remain and large parts of the disaster-struck region are still in need of work and support, the area is coming back to life with recovery progressing in the aftermath of disaster.

A 3D video presentation of that recovery, charting the progress made at different stages of the last year such as the immediate aftermath, the situation at the 6-month mark as well as one year on, is the highlight of a new exhibit at The Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institute in Kobe.

For those who also want to gain a better understanding of exactly what happened or who want to experience the legacy of the earthquake and tsunami with the added benefit of the education programs of the Institute, it is an essential place to visit because they inform you not only on what happened in Tohoku but also about the greater threat of earthquakes, while serving as a memorial to the last great disaster in Japan, the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake.

What has been the impact on the lives of the people living in Tohoku? How many school children are to this day still missing? What state do the local communities find themselves in today? And what will be the wider legacy of everything that happened there? These are just some of the essential questions that visitors will have answered while no doubt having a few more questions raised besides as they explore.

Visitors learn how authorities continue to improve their disaster response methods, how cities and building plans underwent considerable change and how food / water distribution methods are managed (one of the lessons from Tohoku being the distribution networks of the convenience stores continue to be one of the best ways to get emergency supplies out to stricken areas).

Anybody connected with Japan – be it the foreign residents of the country, those from overseas who planned to travel to the country or even admirers of Japanese culture from around the world were all left with some impact on their own lives when they saw what had happened to the people of Tohoku. The work of The Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institute is one way people can grapple with the magnitude of the events and gain a better personal understanding.

For others, the greater work that the institute carries out serves as a remainder that people in different countries around the world can suddenly and unexpectedly find themselves under threat from an earthquake or major natural disaster. In the past few years alone, we have seen major catastrophes in China, Haiti and New Zealand, for example, and so the there is also a wider reason to understand how Japan has and continues to, live with such challenges.

Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution
1-5-2 Kaigan-dori, Wakinohama, Chuo-ku, Kobe

Phone: 078-262-5050

For more information visit:

Author of this article

Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution

DRI offers programs by which visitors can learn the effects of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and lessons learned from the experience that should be shared with younger generations. DRI also works to communicate expertise and knowledge to the public in an easy-to-understand manner so as to help our cities, communities and ourselves become better prepared against disasters.

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