Reconstruction of cultural heritage: disaster, tourism, and anthropology
Shinji Yamashita (Teikyo Heisei University)
Hiroi Iwahara (Toyo University)
Tomoko Kano (Teikyo Heisei University)
Momoyo Gota (Tokyo University of Science)
Tanaka Takae (Tama University)
Paper short abstract:
This paper presents a comparative study of cultural heritage in relation to disaster risk management in five countries in Asia. The paper also intends to re-construct anthropology through the collaborative ethnography of cultural heritage and tourism working with the devastated local communities.
Paper long abstract:
Disasters damage communities and environments, yet they create new cultural forms in the process of reconstruction. Since 2011 when the great earthquake struck the north-eastern region of Japan, Japanese anthropologists have sought to utilise their knowledge for the aftermath of the disaster, and new arenas like public anthropology have emerged. Anthropologists specialised in tourism have become aware of the fact that the large number of tourists visit the sites to reconstruct the communities. They have been conscious of the meanings of cultural heritage, because heritage represents not only a tourist attraction but also the significant local identity. These movements have led us to a research project on cultural heritage in relation to disaster risk management. Collaborating among anthropologists and architects, this paper elucidates the anthropological meanings of reconstruction of cultural heritage by examining the cases of Japan, China, Indonesia, Nepal and Turkey. The cases of Nepal (Kathmandu) and Turkey (Bergama) show that they reconstruct their communities as they were, while in China (Beichuan) the affected communities are abandoned and new ones are created under the direct control of the state. The case of Indonesia (Bali) illustrates 'environmental disaster' brought by mass tourism, which results in the formation of community ecotourism. Japan (Fujisan) faces 'tourism disaster' caused by the increasing overseas visitors, yet the fact has raised public awareness for sustainable heritage management. Through this comparative study on the reconstruction of cultural heritage, the paper also intends to re-construct anthropology through the collaborative ethnography working with the devastated local communities.
Anthropology of re-construction: exploring and thinking the remaking of broken worlds [Disaster and Crisis Anthropology Network]