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Open AccessArticle

Strengths of Exaggerated Tsunami-Originated Placenames: Disaster Subculture in Sanriku Coast, Japan

1
Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8578, Japan
2
Department of Geography, College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto 603-8577, Japan
3
Faculty of Law, Miyazaki Sangyo-keiei University, Miyazaki 880-0931, Japan
4
Earthquake Research Institute, the University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan
5
Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Tokushima University, Tokushima 770-8501, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(10), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8100429
Received: 29 June 2019 / Revised: 30 August 2019 / Accepted: 17 September 2019 / Published: 24 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historical GIS and Digital Humanities)
Disaster-originated placename is a kind of disaster subculture that is used for a practical purpose of identifying a location while reminding the past disaster experience. They are expected to transmit the risks and knowledge of high-risk low-frequency natural hazards, surviving over time and generations. This paper compares the perceptions to tsunami-originated placenames in local communities having realistic and exaggerated origins in Sanriku Coast, Japan. The reality of tsunami-originated placenames is first assessed by comparing the tsunami run-ups indicated in the origins and that of the tsunami in the Great East Japan Earthquake 2011 using GIS and digital elevation model. Considerable proportions of placenames had exaggerated origins, but the group interviews to local communities revealed that origins indicating unrealistic tsunami run-ups were more believed than that of the more realistic ones. We discuss that accurate hazard information will be discredited if it contradicts to the people’s everyday life and the desire for safety, and even imprecise and ambiguous information can survive if it is embedded to a system of local knowledge that consistently explains the various facts in a local area that requires explanation. View Full-Text
Keywords: disaster subculture; tsunami; placenames; indigenous knowledge; risk perception; tsunami run-up; digital elevation model; GIS disaster subculture; tsunami; placenames; indigenous knowledge; risk perception; tsunami run-up; digital elevation model; GIS
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Isoda, Y.; Muranaka, A.; Tanibata, G.; Hanaoka, K.; Ohmura, J.; Tsukamoto, A. Strengths of Exaggerated Tsunami-Originated Placenames: Disaster Subculture in Sanriku Coast, Japan. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8, 429.

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