Hisako Hara

Professor, Osaka Electro-Communication University / Art producer

+Art field member

From the repose of the soul and healing to expressions of experiences and memories.

In the period right after the earthquake, there are a lot of artistic expressions of the repose of the soul and healing, and as time goes by it evolves into artistic expression that passes on the remaining experiences and memories.



Concentrated on the year of the disaster, 10 years after, and 15 years after.

There were bursts of concentrated activity especially in the years 1995, 2005, and 2010. It is speculated that budgets for recovery and commemorative projects were allocated in these years. While it was expected there would be special budgeting in the year 2000, there are very few case examples.



From memories of the disaster site to expressions of sentiments

In the period right after the earthquake, there were a lot of documents and photographs of the disaster site, but works that were personal expressions begin to gradually mark its presence.



The artist was a survivor themselves

There are numerous cases where the artist was a survivor of the disaster.



For purposes of charity and the repose of the souls of the deceased

There are numerous concerts and songs for the purpose of charity [events] and repose of the deceased.




There were various performances, charity events, and workshops that took place in 1995 through 96, right after the earthquake. Five and ten years after the earthquake, both milestone years, we see a momentary increase in activity, which is probably related to the increase in budgets allocated by the government and municipalities for the recovery projects. The general intent to continue an independent, alternative project was beginning to sprout around the same time as the burst of the economic bubble, and in order to give a continuous form to the ideas and intentions, several non-profit organizations were founded. The organization of support structures that bring together the energy of people with the desire to transcend borders of art and music, such as the Kobe Bunka Shienkikin (Art Aid Kobe, 1995-2002) is an example that demonstrates what is possible when experts on social structures are at the center of operations. These trends helped catalyze the founding of various non-profit legislative policies, and triggered a movement of voluntary groups becoming fully fledged corporations or non-profits.

In the field of art, which requires long-term support and training, it is important to be considerate of the recipients, and activities must not be short-sighted, but organize a foundation on which continuous activity and a base of operation can be built. In a country plagued with natural disaster such as Japan, the Agency of Cultural Affairs led the founding of the Cultural Artifacts Relief Activities (a.k.a Cultural Heritage Rescue Team), formed by a group of experts such as the Japanese Council of Art Museums who “rescue” cultural resources in disaster zones. Such organized and sustained initiatives became heavily valued. With the tragic advent of the earthquake, relief efforts to protect and preserve cultural resources and artifacts were established, which had been lacking in Japan.

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