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The fire of inamura (rice sheaves) and prevention of tsunami disasters

Source(s):  Cabinet Office (Japan)

On 24 December 2004, an enormous tsunami caused by the Ansei Nankai Earthquake struck Hiromura Village in Japan (presently Hirogawa-cho, Wakayama Prefecture). On that occasion, Hamaguchi Goryo, a squire of the village, set fire to inamura, which were stacks made of just-harvested rice crops, to guide the villagers who were slow to escape in the darkness to higher ground. 

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who attended the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, introduced the story of the Fire of Inamura to participants from all over the world and stressed the importance of understanding and remembering the lessons of disasters and the need for quick judgement and action in time of disaster.

This educational material contains a picture-story show related to the tale, as well as a puppet play and shadow play initiative to popularize the story. Resources for the prevention of tsunami disasters are also featured.


Format Multimedia and Websites
Sub-format Web pages

Other items in same package


Games, Activities, Exercises  •  Play, script, theater, radio or televison, or role

Target audiences


Group: Adults

Sub-group: Community activists, decision-makers or opinion-leaders

Educational usage

reading level Educational (secondary reading level)
educational usage Extra-curricular/Informal
Extra Curricular Disaster Management

Additional information

Published in Japan

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  • Year of publication 2006
  • Language(s) English
  • Price Free

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