Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture Kanagawa University

Research and study

Past research and projects: Conservation of Historical Documents on Fishery in Oshima Island, Kesennuma City

Geographical scope

Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture
The blog “Records of material conservation in Kesennuma” was resumed in June 2015!!


  On Oshima Island, Kessennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture, which was devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, the ISJFC and students of the Graduate School of History and Folklore Studies worked together to restore roughly 4,000 materials of the Oshima Fishery Cooperative Association.
  After removing moisture and mud, about 300 boxes of documents were sent to Nara Prefecture to be processed by the large vacuum freeze drier at the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. This mission was completed with welcomed support from various parties.

  • Damaged documents and other materials

  • Moisture and mud are carefully removed.

Activities in FY2012

  A provisional catalogue of the materials stored at the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties was completed in July. In November, the materials were moved from the Institute to unused classrooms of Oshima Elementary School. Also, a symposium titled “The Significance of the Oshima Library of Fishery History” was held in Oshima on November 1.

  • Documents organized at Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties

  • A symposium was held in Kesennuma Oshima.

Activities in FY2013

  In July, the new site for the Fishery Cooperative building was examined and surveyed before drawing up a plan from August to September. In October, members were busy cleaning the damaged documents while starting the first-round check of the provisional catalogue.

  • Documents of the Fishery Cooperative were salvaged, tentatively organized and packed into about 300 boxes.

  • Cleaning of the documents in the gymnasium of Oshima Elementary School

Activities in 2014

All damaged documents were cleaned and the materials’ classification table was completed.

  • Mud and sand were carefully removed from the documents.

  • Dry-cleaning and filing of the materials

Activities in FY2015

  The ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the new material storage of the Kesennuma Oshima Fishery Cooperative Library, designed by the Architectural Design Lab of the Kanagawa University Graduate School of Engineering, took place on June 22. Later on September 26, a private showing and the “Symposium on the Future of the Fishery Library – Fishing Village Culture and Oshima’s Future” were held. With the completion ceremony on February 25, 2016, the library was officially opened as ISJFC’s new research center.

  • Completion of the Oshima Fishery Cooperative Library

  • Preparation of the documents to be housed in the library

  • Arrangement of the documents on the library shelves

  • Symposium (September 26, 2015)

  • Completion Ceremony (February 25, 2016)

  • A scenic view of Kesennuma Oshima