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The foundation of the Industrial Heritage Information Centre

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4:30 PM, Tuesday 30 Aug 2022 (20 minutes)
The Industrial Heritage Information Centre (IHIC) was established in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo in March, 2020 and was opened to the public on June 15th. In cooperation with a visitor centre in each region, the IHIC introduces the full history of each region as well as the World Heritage values of the "Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining” inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List in July 2015. The “Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution”, mostly located in the Kyushu-Yamaguchi region but also in Izunokuni City in Shizuoka Prefecture and Kamaishi City in Iwate Prefecture, is comprised of 23 component parts located across 11 cities and 8 prefectures. These 23 component parts, together, comprise a single World Heritage property that is testimony to Japan’s rapid industrialisation in iron and steel, shipbuilding and coal mining in just a little over 50 years up to the early 20th century. It includes active facilities of private companies such as parts of the Nagasaki Shipyard and what was the Imperial Steel Works, as well as large-scale industrial facilities such as Miike Port and the Hashima Coal Mine that is now a ruin. The IHIC is equipped with a resource library where computer monitors and displays provide access to a wide variety of information on industry and everyday life. That’s why the IHIC archives resources and documentation that is primary information including memories and records contributed by the people who actually worked in the decades after the Meiji period. The IHIC also raises people’s awareness by promoting various projects and activities including archiving industrial heritage and history, research, PR, interpretation, education/training, conservation and digital archives. In particular, in the field of research, we will create an industrial heritage database of several countries around the world. This paper introduces and report on details about the IHIC.

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