DRH-Asia: Disaster Reduction Hyperbase
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1. Title

Indigenous knowledge from Japan experience: Prevention, Damage reduction and Erosion control by Flood Disaster

ID: DRH 8 This house (Mizuya) has been uplifted by about 2~5m in height compared to the main house.
Hazard: Flood

Transferable indigenous knowledge (TIK)

Proposer: Yukiko Takeuchi
Country: JAPAN;
Date posted: 30 January 2008
Date published: 27 December 2008
Copyright © 2008 Yukiko Takeuchi (proposer). All rights reserved.

This house (Mizuya) has been uplifted by about 2~5m in height compared to the main house.


Yukiko TAKEUCHI, Hiroyuki KAMEDA, Rajib SHAW and Naho IKEDA
KU-NIED Survey Team

2. Major significance / Summary

Three kinds of Indigenous Knowledge and Technology for flood disaster. can be observed in the Noubi plains area of central Japan. These are: (1) Flood prevention; Waju (Inside Ring)=communities protected by ring dikes. (2) Erosion control; Hijiri-Ushi (Grand OX)=control water force. (3) Damage reduction; Mizuya (Flood House)=evacuation house.

3. Keywords

Flood disaster, Flood Prevention, Erosion Control and Damage Reduction

II. Categories

4. Focus of this information

Transferable indigenous knowledge (TIK)

5. Users

5-1. Anticipated users: Community leaders (voluntary base) , Administrative officers , Municipalities , National governments and other intermediate government bodies (state, prefecture, district, etc.) , Experts , Teachers and educators , Urban planners , Rural planners

5-2. Other users: Policy makers , Local residents

6. Hazards focused


7. Elements at risk

Human lives , Buildings , Rural areas , River banks and fluvial basin

III. Contact Information

8. Proposer(s) information (Writer of this template)

Yukiko TAKEUCHI, Hiroyuki KAMEDA, Rajib SHAW and Naho IKEDA
KU-NIED Survey Team

9. Country(ies)/region(s) where the technology/knowledge/practice originated


Gifu prefecture

10. Names and institutions of technology/knowledge developers

Unknown. But has been practiced since 17th century by community person.

11. Title of relevant projects if any


12. References and publications


13. Note on ownership if any


IV. Background

14. Disaster events and/or societal circumstances, which became the driving force either for developing the technology/knowledge or enhancing its practice

Noubi Plains, located in the Gifu Prefecture of central Japan, constitute alluvial plains formed by three major rivers (Ibi River, Ngara River and Kiso River). Due to strong meanders of these rivers, Noubi Plains experienced many serious flood disasters. Communities living in Noubi Plains have developed knowledge and technologies to cope with flood disasters, which are described below.

V. Description

15. Feature and attribute

Three Categories Knowledge and Technology

+Flood Prevention: Waju(Inside Ring): Communities protected by Ring Dike

Communities living in lowland areas suffered from many flood disasters from several centuries. In the 14th century, communities built a ring dike to protect its people. Those dikes were managed by local groups of people aimed at flood control. Seeing the effectiveness of these ring dikes, many communities copied the method. These dikes not only represented the physical structures, but also helped in developing community ties and ethical values through participatory decision making in maintenance and upgrading.As the results of physical countermeasures taken by the government in the Kiso, Nagara and Ibi Watershed Areas in 18th century, the frequency of flood in those areas has been reduced than before. Consequently, importances of the ring dikes became low, and in some cases were broken in order to renew the land use patterns. 

+Damage Reduction: Mizuya(Flood House): Evacuation House

This house has been uplifted by about 2~5m in height compared to the main house. Ordinarily Mizuya is used as a storage room. When flood happens, this house is used for evacuation. Possession of these houses are limited to rich land owners. 

 Age-fune(Preparedness Boat)House owners prepared boats for emergency needs at the time of flood.

Age-Butsudan(Lift up Buddhist Family Alter)Buddhist Family Alter is important item in this area. This system lifts up alters in order to protect them from submerging.  

+Erosion Control: Hijiri-Ushi(Grand OX)

Grand OX is erosion control tools for controlling water force.

Grand OX is used in the areas where rapid rivers meander.



16. Necessary process to implement

Waju(Inside Ring)=Community Protected by Ring Dike-Agreement of Community-Make management teamDamage Reduction: Mizuya(Flood House)=Evacuation House- Agreement of Family- Need to research type of floods with depth of water using previous disaster records.Erosion Control: Hijiri-Ushi(Grand OX)=Control water force- Decide where to install it.- Decide the material for the construction

17. Strength and limitations

Strength: This technology can use local material. Therefore, can easy implement it.  Limitation: This technology can not protect all scale floods. Need assessment to implement place for Erosion control technology. 

18. Lessons learned through implementation if any

They can develop strong community through the ring dike. Ring dike need agreement and management by community. 

VI. Resources required

19. Facilities and equipments required

Flood Prevention: Soil, Tree and measurement technologyErosion Control: Wood or Concrete , Wire or Creeper and sand bagDamage Reduction: Another House and Carpenter

20. Costs, organization, manpower, etc.

Dikes were management by local flood control team.

VII. Message from the proposer if any

21. Message

VIII. Self evaluation in relation to applicability

22. How do you evaluate the technology/knowledge that you have proposed?

It is a technology/knowledge that has high application potential verified by implementation in various field sites.

23. Notes on the applicability if any

IX. Application examples

X. Other related parallel initiatives if any


XI. Remarks for version upgrade


Attached files:

Similar technologies

By Hazard

> Flood (15)

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