Regular Feature

Greetings from the Outskirts of Kyoto vol.5

INOUE Shōichi (Director-General)
February 25, 2021

Probably because of effects of global warming, Japan like other parts of the world has been facing the increasing experience of damaging heavy rains. Awful reports of houses being swept away by landslides seem to be more frequent.

The International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) is located on the southern slope of a mountain. It is a hillside facility. Landslides do indeed pose a threat here. We would want to do something about it, of course, but there is no way to head off the possibility.

The area to the south of Nichibunken, below us on the hill, is a residential district. The other day, one of the residents told me that, in case of a landslide on the mountain, Nichibunken would protect them. Our complex would hold back the landslide and keep them safe. They are counting on us for that, he said.

Is our raison d’être to be a bulwark against disaster? I shouldn’t sigh. We provide the local residents a sense of security. That too is surely a contribution to society.