The Tsunami and Knowledge Management

Talk about wisdom of the ancients… this CBS News article highlights the Japanese village of Aneyoshi, which heeded the warning of an old stone marker:

“High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants,” the stone slab reads. “Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis. Do not build any homes below this point.”

The east coast of Japan has these scattered about, but apparently not all of the warnings were heeded.  Or perhaps the warnings weren’t so clear.  Another interesting tidbit is that awareness of the tsunami danger didn’t persist simply by word-of-mouth:

“It takes about three generations for people to forget. Those that experience the disaster themselves pass it to their children and their grandchildren, but then the memory fades,” [Fumihiko Imamura, a professor in disaster planning at Tohoku University in Sendai, a tsunami-hit city] said.

Luckily, the people of Aneyoshi took care to reinforce that experience:

“Everybody here knows about the markers. We studied them in school,” said Yuto Kimura, 12, who guided a recent visitor to one near his home. “When the tsunami came, my mom got me from school and then the whole village climbed to higher ground.”

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