We would like to Establish a "New Local Studies" that will be transmitted to the Outside World.

Mr.  Hideki Onodera

An Associate Professor of the Faculty of Science and Engineering in Iwate University

Mr. Hideki Onodera

1962: Born in Sendai City

1991: Graduated from the Graduate School of Engineering of Tohoku University and became a Doctor of Engineering. In the same year, he became a Research Assistant to the Faculty of Engineering at Iwate University.

1995: He became an Assistant Professor of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Research of the same region in Iwate University.

Currently, he is an Associate Professor of the Faculty of Science and Technology

He specialized in hydraulic engineering and began research on the history of technology around 1995. Member of the “Expert Committee on Industrial Heritage including Operational Assets” of the Cabinet Secretariat and an expert member of the “Council for Cultural Affairs” of the Agency for Cultural Affairs. He is also the Chairman of the “Mechanical Engineering Heritage Committee” of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers

Finally, he is the Honorary Director of the Kamaishi City Iron and Steel History Museum 

Hideki Onodera, who is an Associate Professor at Iwate University, was one of the contributors to the inscription of the “Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution” as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by researching and verifying the value of the Hashino Iron Mine (located in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture), which is known for being the only component part in the Tohoku region. In the midst of the Corona disaster, this year marks the fifth anniversary of the inscription of the mine, and the question is what ought to be done to preserve, pass on, and utilize this group of valuable component parts. The most noteworthy issue addressed by Dr. Onodera was the establishment and enlightenment of “new local studies.”

■How Can We Alleviate the Burden on Local People?

--This year (2020) will be the fifth year since the World Heritage Site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. As one of the contributors to the World Heritage List, what are your thoughts now, Professor Onodera?

Onodera In a word, it all happened so fast. I was watching the meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee held in July 2015 via webcast all the time, and on the first day, things did not go as planned due to opposition from South Korea. However, on the second day, the chairperson swung the hammer down and finally approved the inclusion of the site on the World Heritage List. I still remember well to this day the look of relief on the face of the chairman as he swung down the hammer, and I myself was relieved as well.

 Five years have passed since then, and the “Industrial Heritage Information Center” has opened in Shinjuku City, Tokyo, which I also had an opportunity to visit the other day. I am aware that there are many issued to be addressed, but I feel that with this, the “assignment” previously given by ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) has been fulfilled and we have reached a point of closure.

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Photos: Industrial Heritage Information Center

--How do you feel in regards to the situation in the local area, Kamaishi?

Onodera Due to the disaster caused by Corona, I have not had many opportunities to visit Kamaishi or interact with the local people in the past year or so, but I have the impression that even though it is the 5th anniversary, there have not been many notable events. The local media did not even give us much coverage either. Frankly speaking, I have the impression that the local people are a bit tired of it.

--Then, what exactly do you mean by that?

Onodera The Hashino Iron Mine is located in a depopulated area, and although the local people are doing their best, they are inevitably overburdened. Of course, the city of Kamaishi is making an effort, and there are people who volunteer as guides, but there still is a tendency to rely on the local people of the Hashino area. In the future, it will be a big challenge to find a way to support and expand the activities of the city of Kamaishi as a whole, and even more broadly.

 In the case of the city of Kamaishi, only the Hashino Iron Mine was inscribed on the list, and it is also a heritage site located far away alone from the other component parts. Therefore, I feel that the position of Kamaishi in the overall story of the “Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution,” which has 23 component parts, and the role played by Kamaishi has not been sufficiently understood. The Hashino Iron Mine is not a World Heritage Site by itself, but is one of the component parts of World Heritage Sites addressed as the “Sites of Japan’s Industrial Revolution,” and I have the impression that there is still a lack of understanding in this area amongst people.

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--In relation to this point, Professor Onodera, you have been actively involved in the project of “Local Studies” in the city of Kamaishi. I think this is the keyword here. Please tell us again what “Local Studies” truly refers to.  

Onodera To learn more about the region where you were born, raised, and live currently. That is essentially the basis of the “Local Studies.” By learning and understanding the past, we can realize that the region we live in today was created, and that will give us pride. It is certainly becoming more difficult as the number of children declines due to the declining birthrate and aging population, but in essence, it is about rediscovering the “treasures of the region.”

In terms of the learning activities for children, in the past, they would unearth various things such as the history of the region and present the summarized results on an imitation Japanese vellum. This kind of activity was carried out in every community and school. The children painstakingly walked around the area on their own and took pictures, discovering and unearthing facts that had been buried that even the local government did not know. It was such a surprise. However, now the population is decreasing, the adults are aging, the number of children is decreasing, and the entire region has no more room for such activities. Therefore, I believe that we need to build a “new local study” in a more different way.

--Do you have any specific ideas?

Onodera For example, let the children get to know the local area better so that they can act as guides for the area. We will send out information about the local area to the outside world and let more people know about it. Up until now, we have only compiled the information on an imitation Japanese vellum and presented it to the local people as a kind of learning outcome, but we can use this as a starting point for disseminating the information to the rest of the prefecture, the nation, and even the world. I think this is the future of local studies. Take the local high school students in the Matsushima area of Miyagi Prefecture as an example, they wear volunteer guide badges on their chests and guide tourists on their days off. We are also creating such a system to a similar degree. Through such activities, children can gain a deeper insight in regards to the local treasures. In the future, even after they leave their hometown, they will be able to talk about the treasures of their hometown and their pride in it. This is the future of local studies, and I hope that Kamaishi will become like that.  

--Activities that have traditionally been completed or stayed within the local community are now being expanded to the outside world. In that process, there seems to be the benefit of deepening our knowledge more and more. Nonetheless, this will take a lot of energy to accomplish, would it not?

Onodera Yes, it may be difficult at first, but the basics are already laid down, and if we can get it going, it means it is even possible that it can be passed on from one generation to the next. I think this is similar to the activities of “storytellers” who pass on the stories of the tsunami damage caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Living now for the future of Japan: The mission of the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution is to raise awareness and courage that "Japan can be saved if we make use of the spirit of our predecessors."

Former General Manager, Nagasaki Shipyard and Machinery Works, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.

Dr. Kunifumi Hashimoto
Japan's Meiji Industrial Heritage is the Pride of Japan - Knowing the Steps of Our Predecessors is the Key to Reconsidering Japanese Education

Chairman, Fujisankei Group

Executive Managing Advisor, Fuji Television Network, Inc.

Executive Managing Advisor, Fuji Media Holdings, Inc.

Mr, Hisashi Hieda
The Road to World Heritage Registration was Full of its Ups and Downs ~Blessed, Saved and Paved by the Luck of Human Fate~

Advisor, Federation of Japan Port and Airport Construction Association

(Ex. Chairman of Specialists Center of Port and Airport Engineering)

Mr. Hiroshi Hayashida
The historical flow of change from "Samurai to the Company" is the pride of Japan - Nagasaki, the center of Japan's Meiji Industrial Heritage Sites, will lead the way to connect to the next generation.

Mayor of Nagasaki City

Mr. Shiro Suzuki
The Saga Clan Built Japan's First Reverberatory Furnace, and the "Mietsu Naval Station" was the Base of the Western-style Navy: Passing on the Passion That Went Into Registering the Site as a World Heritage Site to the Next Generation

Former Director of the Sano Tsunetami Memorial Museum (currently known as Sano Tsunetami and the Mietsu Naval Dock History Museum)

Mr. Yoshimi Eguchi
The Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution is a "World Cultural Heritage" and a "World Evolutionary Heritage

Director of NPO Association for Thinking about Satoyama

Director of National Congress of the Industrial Heritage

Mr. Kenji Amioka
Shoin Shrine has a mission to convey the history leading up to the Meiji Restoration properly

Honorary Chief Priest Toshinari Ueda

Mr. Toshinari Ueda
What is the secret plan to make the Port of Miike, an operational asset of a World Heritage site?

Former Mayor of Omuta City

Mr. Michio Koga
Vol. 49
Why Conservation Management of Japan's Meiji Industrial Sites is needed?

Archaeologist and Heritage Conservation Specialist

Dr. Michael Pearson AO
The Truth of Industrial History Unraveled from the Perspective of Metallurgy: the Mission of the Heritage of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution is to Pass on the Intelligence, Diligence, and Fortitude of the Japanese People to Future Generations

A fellow of the Japan Federation of Engineering Societies

Professor Tadahiro Inazumi
The Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution is a Great Teaching Aid, and Various World Revealed by Looking Into It

Team Member of the Industrial Project Team Office for the Promotion of World Heritage Listing under Cabinet Secretariat

Mr. Kazuhiko Suga
The History of Iron that Began in Kagoshima has Dramatically Advanced Japan's Modernization~I Want to Pass on the Vitality of the People of Satsuma to the Younger Generations Whom Will Live in the Future~

Governor of Kagoshima Prefecture

Koichi Shiota
Yoshida Shoin preached the Theory of Engineering Education and produced the Choshu Five who risked their lives to go to England--to pass on the proud Hagi spirit to future generations

Mayor of Hagi City

Mr. Fumio Tanaka
I wish to pass on to my children's generation the wisdom, technology, and energy of our ancestors who built Misumi West Port - I will do my very best to do what I can at this moment by looking ahead to the future that will surely come after COVID-19.

Mayor of Uki City, Kumamoto Prefecture

Mr. Kenshi Morita
Vol. 43
An Imperial Company named the Yawata Steel Works became a World Heritage Site from a Single Old Photo!

The Former Employee of Nippon Steel Corporation

Mr. Masayoshi Minakuchi
We would like to Establish a "New Local Studies" that will be transmitted to the Outside World.

An Associate Professor of the Faculty of Science and Engineering in Iwate University

Mr. Hideki Onodera
18 Years History of a Tourist Guide Business and an Outpouring of "Love for Misumi West Port." ~"Registration for World Heritage is Not Simply a Goal, but a New Starting Point."~

Chairman of the Tourist Guide Association of Misumi West Port

Mr. Manpo Saito
To Mark the Passage of "Time" Together with Nirayama Reverberatory Furnace ~To increase the attractiveness of "reverberatory furnace tourism" through the use of commercial museum and restaurant business~

President of Kuraya Narusawa Co., Ltd.

Chairman of Izunokuni City Tourism Association

Mr. Hironori Inamura
The Establishment of the Gunkanjima Digital Museum Were Led by Fate: I want to start, continue, and finish what I can do to convey the value of the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution to a wide audience

Director and General Manager of Gunkanjima Concierge

Producer of the Gunkanjima Digital Museum

Ms. Yuko Kuon
In Industrial Heritage, It's the "People" Who Play the Central Role: How World Heritage Inscription Casts a Fresh Light on Hometown Splendors

Owner at Tōge Chaya

Ms. Shizuko Ogasawara
Everything is for the Economic Development of Nagasaki--Expanding Beyond the Shipping Business to Pass on Nagasaki's Culture and Industrial Heritage

Chairman: Mr. Hidenori Date
President: Mr. Masahiro Date

Yamasa Kaiun Co., Ltd.
Kamaishi's "Miracles" and Overcoming Disaster: The Huge Opportunity Provided by World Heritage Site Inscription

Proprietor, Houraikan Inn

Ms. Akiko Iwasaki
"850 years of historical records" along with Nirayama reverberatory furnace that ought to be passed down to future generations. ~The long-awaited new storage warehouse is completed and it has encouraged preservation, restoration, and utilization~

Representative Director of Egawa Bunko non-profit incorporated foundation

The 42nd head of the Egawa Family

Mr. Hiroshi Egawa
The History of an Era Opened by an Indomitable Pioneering Spirit and the Power of Our Forefathers

Democratic Party for the People (DPP) Representative for Nagasaki Prefecture

Mr. Yoshiaki Takaki
Gunkanjima Is a Warning Message for the Future of Earth and Humanity ~The Thoughts and Pleas of a Guide and Former Resident~

President of the NPO, Way to World Heritage Gunkanjima

Mr. Dotoku Sakamoto
Synchronicity Yields the Miracle of World Heritage Site Inscription: Strong Aspirations Inspire Support among Like-Minded Individuals

Representative Director

MI Consulting Group

Mr. Fumio Ohue
Power to the People of Japan The Mission of Meiji Japan's Industrial Revolutionary Heritage

President of Watanabe Production Group and Honorary Chair of Watanabe Productions Co., Ltd.

Ms. Misa Watanabe
Turning Our Industrial Heritage into Hope for Those 100 Years From Now

Member of the House of Councillors

Mr.Tatsuo Hirano
Calling on 21st Century Satsuma Students to Build the Future! Shuseikan Serves as a Source of Information about Sightseeing in Kagoshima

Kagoshima Prefecture

Mr. Satoshi Mitazono
Awareness of "Stories with Connections" is steadily spreading throughout each region~There are also challenges for conservation management and interpretation~

World Heritage Consultant

Ms. Sarah Jane Brazil
Where There Is a Will, There Is a Way: Connecting with People Takes Courage and Initiative

Director and Dean, The Kyushu-Asia Institute of Leadership
Representative Director, SUMIDA, Inc.

Mr. Koichi Hashida
Taking Pride in Japan's Latest World Heritage Sites~A Journalist's Perspective~

Journalist, founder of the Shimomura Mitsuko Ikikata Juku School

Ms. Mitsuko Shimomura
Classic Cars and the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution~Rally Nippon 2019 in Kyushu~

Representative, Rally Nippon

Mr.Yusuke Kobayashi
Preparations Proceed for the Development of Exciting Touring Routes to See the World Heritage Sites - The Promotion Council Conveys their Attractions to the World through Various Promotions!

Chairman, Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution World Heritage Route Promotion Council Director, National Congress of Industrial Heritage

Mr. Susumu Ishihara
Giving Greater Force to the Preparation of Routes toward Promoting "Heritage Tourism" - Recollections of the Unforgettable Bombing of Hometown Kure City and the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb

Representative Director, General Incorporated Foundation National Congress of Industrial Heritage (Advisor, Public Interest Incorporated Foundation Capital Markets Research Institute)

Mr. Hiroshi Yasuda
The City Connected to the World: Making the "Treasure of Nagasaki" the "Treasure of the World"

Mayor of Nagasaki City

Mr.Tomihisa Taue
"The World's Experimental Facility" that Questions of the True Value of the "ICOMOS-TICCIH Cooperative Principles" New Conservation Challenges Promoted by the Japanese Government

Policy Director at Heritage Montreal

Mr. Dinu Bumbaru
Days of Heated Argument with the Unforgettable Stuart Smith~A Cross-Cultural Encounter with Familiar 19th-Century Industrial Heritage~

World Heritage Consultant

Mr. Barry Gamble
The next generation of technological innovation is born from carrying forward history and culture. - Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution open the way to "conserving while using"

Executive Director of Kogakuin University

Dr.Osamu Goto
Blazing a New Trail for Serial Inscription-Format Conservation and Management with the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: Training Personnel to Pass on Memory and Understanding as a Major Challenge in the Future

Heritage Architect and International Consultant

Mr. Duncan Marshall
3D Digital Documentation of the Giant Cantilever Crane and Kosuge Dock

Head of Data Acquisition at The Glasgow School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualisation

Mr. Alastair Rawlinson
Japan's Uplifting Industrial Heritage

Head of Industrial Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh

Dr. Miles Oglethorpe
The Scottish Ten Project

Scottish Ten Project Manager, Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh

Dr. Lyn Wilson
The Tea Plantation Hill Where You Can See Two World Heritage Sites at Once, Mt. Fuji and the Nirayama Reverberatory Furnaces--The Next Dream Is a "Mini Reverberatory Furnace for Children" to Provide Experiential Learning

Mayor of Izunokuni City, Shizuoka Prefecture

Ms.Toshiko Ono
Path to becoming a World Heritage Site

Pro-Provost and Chairman of Council of the Royal College of Art. Heritage advisor of Canal & River Trust for England and Wales.

Sir Neil Cossons
In the midst of accurate information dissemination, it created a chance to truly look at history

Dean of Tokyo Rissho Junior College

Professor emeritus of Keio University

Dr. Kudo Norikazu
World Heritage Inscription Spurs Renewed Civic Pride in Kitakyushu's Industrial Heritage

Mayor of Kitakyushu City

Mr. Kenji Kitahashi
World Heritage Inscription: Report on the 2015 Celebratory Party Held in Bonn, Germany

At the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee convened in Bonn, Germany, from June 28 to July 8, 2015, the decision was approved to inscribe the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution on the World Heritage list.

At a celebratory party held to mark the occasion, some of the primary promoters of the project spoke of their joy in achieving their goal and of the trials and tribulations to getting there.

Background of World Heritage Inscription
Conserve and Use: Pioneering New Approaches for Operational Heritage Assets

Director and Managing Executive Officer, Hanshin Expressway Company Limited

Member, Board of Directors, National Congress of Industrial Heritage

Mr. Hiroshi Okamoto
Applying Port and Harbor Act Provisions to Conserve Operating World Heritage Sites

Vice-Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture

Mr. Takashi Namba
The Choshu Five: Pioneers of Modernization and Hagi's Heritage of Trial and Error

Mayor of Hagi City

Mr. Koji Nomura
The Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: The Roots of Japanese Craftsmanship and Industry

Chairman, Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd.

Mr.Masafumi Yasutomi
The Miike Area: How Coal Contributed to Japan's Modern Industrialization

Mayor of Omuta City

Mr.Michio Koga
The Meiji Industrial Revolution: A Story of Broad Vision and a Strong Sense of Mission to Undertake New Challenges for the Good of the Nation and its People

Deputy Director-General, Lifelong Learning Policy Bureau, MEXT

Former Counsellor, Cabinet Secretariat

Mr. Kengo Iwamoto
From Kamaishi to Yawata: The Proud Heritage of Japan's Modern Iron Industry

Mayor of Kamaishi City

Mr.Takenori Noda
Lord Nariakira Shimadzu's Shuseikan and the Efforts to Build a Strong and Affluent Nation

Member, Board of Directors, National Congress of Industrial Heritage Counselor, Shimadzu Limited

Mr.Kimiyasu Shimadzu
The Genesis of Japan's Rise as an Industrial Nation: Preserving the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution for Future Generations

Chairman of the Consortium for the World Heritage Inscription of Modern Industrial Heritage (Kyushu-Yamaguchi) and governor of Kagoshima Prefecture (as of 2015)

Mr.Yuichiro Ito