Earthquake reconstruction and protection of living heritage from the perspective of Islamic architectural history in India

researcher's name
about researcher FUKAMI, Naoko Part-time Lecturer (retired)
Research Council (Research Organization) Organization for Islamic Area Studies


In the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, many cultural assets were damaged. Knowledge was gained regarding the coexistence of community activities and cultural assets (living heritage) through damage investigation and reconstruction support.


We learned about the mapmaking in Bhadreshwar, Mundra, Kutch District in the state of Gujarat, India (plane table survey), its community classification under religion and the caste system, and the architectural assets remaining from an era when the region flourished through Indian Ocean trade. In the reconstruction support that followed the earthquake, the public were educated in order to understand the protection of living heritage and other buildings, and collaborative activities with Indian urban development enterprises have been implemented. There is also a personal network in the Indian Islamic world.


Because the Islamic cultural sphere exists throughout the world, it is possible to see the architecture from the fringes of the religion and the culture behind it. When considering the prospect of business expansion into the Islamic cultural sphere, one cannot neglect efforts to comprehend the community which so differs from Japan, or appropriate measures to approach it. In contrast, it is even possible to reassess the Japanese community from this understanding.


Awareness of cultural considerations and the knowledge required for supporting the protection of cultural assets can be provided for facing the BRICs and VISTA (or the Next Eleven) which continue to build megacities with global influence.
We have created, in collaboration with four other sites, the “Joint Usage/Research Center for Islamic Area Studies.”, the center of which activities are based in the university’s Organization for Islamic Area Studies.  We are leaders in the field of Islamic research in Japan and have gained a wealth of findings.

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posted: 2014/05/21