The Institute of Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage at Ritsumeikan University has the aim to establish theories and methodologies to conserve historical cities with cultural heritages for future generations. Given the great disaster caused by the earthquake occurred in the eastern part of Japan on the last March, we decided to assemble and disseminate the information on damaged cultural heritages to the public as one of our important task to fulfill the aim of our institute.
Although such damaged heritages are widely distributed over Japan, we release maps of registered national cultural heritages and their damages in the Tohoku area. These maps were designed in a GIS environment. We should note that the current information of cultural heritage damages is limited and needs further examination.


Maps of damaged cultural heritage distributions (select region)


全国 Tohoku area Kanto area


Maps of damaged cultural heritage distributions in Tohoku area

We herewith release maps of the distribution of registered national cultural heritages which suffered from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

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Maps of damaged cultural heritage distributions in Kanto area

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The list of 'damage-reported' cultural properties in these maps is based on the reports to the Agency for Cultural Affiars until 26 August, 2011. The item of 'not reported' means that no information of damage was reported and does not necessarily mean that the cultural properties did not suffer damage. Also it should be noted that there are wide variety of damage to cultural heritages and the severity of such damage is not classified.

The source information for GIS mapping

  1. Cultural heritages / cultural properties
    The database of registered national cultural properties of the Agency for Cultural Affiars.
    The information on the cultural heritages which suffered from the Great East Japan Earthquake (the Agency for Cultural Affiars: unpublished)
  2. Physiography, Hydrology and Densely inhabited areas
    ArcGIS Data Collection Standard Pack (ESRI Japan Inc.)
    Digital maps of the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI)
    Digital Elevation Model (10 m resolution)
  3. Seismic activity
    The information on seismic activity in JMA scale of the M9 earthquake which occurred at11th March in 2011 was obtained from the Emergency Mapping Team. Kriging-based interpolation was used for overlaying with the distribution of damaged cultural properties.
  4. Estimated Tsunami flooding area
    PASCO Inc. made this GIS-based information by referencing aerial photos and satellite images. It should be noted that the distribution of flooding area may contain estimation errors which should be carefully evaluated by field-based surveys in the future. The detailed geographic distribution of the estimated flooding areas and other GIS-based works on the disaster by PASCO Inc. are available at the following website. Information on "The Great East Japan Earthquake 2011".

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