2013 研究助成 Research Grant Program  /  個人研究助成B  
(Grant Number)
(Project Title)
近世日本における自然災害の被害実態 ―死亡構造とその形成要因
The Damages from Natural Disasters in Early Modern Japan: Mortality Patterns and its Formation Factor
池本 裕行
Hiroyuki Ikemoto
Kyoto University
(Grant Amount)
企画書・概要 (Abstract of Project Proposal)


 In the Great East Japan Earthquake, some areas severely suffered from the tsunami as the result of the decision the people had been compelled to make in building their houses to ignore stone monuments warning of the tsunami, for the sake of daily convenience. The fact shows that it is important not only to utilize technologies but also to learn from past disasters to prevent and decrease the damages of natural disasters. However, not much is known about the actual conditions of the natural disasters in early modern Japan, and this makes it difficult to incorporate historical viewpoints to the measures aiming to prevent and decrease natural disaster damages. This research aims to clarify the state of the damages caused by natural disasters in early modern age. Here, natural disasters not only include temporary ones such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and typhoons, but also long-term disasters such as droughts and insufficient sunlight potentially leading to famines, and their human damages are especially highlighted. The research specifically elucidates the mortality patterns (i.e. age, sex, and monthly distribution of victims) in the past disasters that occurred in the area corresponding to the present Wakayama Prefecture. Further it draws a clear picture of the state of agricultural production, goods distribution, and sanitation at that time. Based on the findings, it analyzes the factors that affected the formation of the mortality patterns. Taking into account that the area under concern had been an economically advanced area adjacent to "Kinai", the research not only will show the geographic distribution of the victims of the disasters, but may also present a close analysis of the relation between economic developments and famines.

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