Daruma Study Group on Disaster Prevention


?Daruma’s Main Purpose 

It is important to raise citizens’ awareness of disaster prevention in a country like Japan where natural disasters occur on a frequent basis. It is therefore critical for each citizen to seriously consider and prepare for his or her safety and the safety of his or her family.  It is also important to prepare one’s space and community rather than viewing disasters as somebody else’s problem. Daruma was founded in order to share information about disaster prevention and to establish a human network. Our group intends to organize many activities that aim at naturally increasing people’s consciousness about disaster prevention.


?How Daruma Was Established…

The level of disaster prevention activities at the local level contributes to decreasing the degree of disaster when an earthquake hits. With this in mind, a lifelong learning course entitled “Town Planning Course on Local Disaster Prevention,” hosted by Kanagawa prefecture, started at Kanagawa University in 2005. Later, students of the course and others founded a “group that discusses disaster prevention and town planning.” This group later became the “Study Group on Disaster Prevention: Daruma” that intends to practice hands-on activities based on feedback and challenges exchanged and presented at meetings involving universities, government, voluntary organizations on disaster prevention, and other organizations. The “Town Planning Course on Local Disaster Prevention” has been held on a monthly basis at Kanagawa University since its 23rd meeting (April, 2007).


?Daruma’s Objectives

1) To improve the mutual ability for disaster prevention through various activities,
2) To create a human network that seeks to share information regarding disaster prevention and community building, and
3) To contribute to town planning related to disaster prevention at local societies.


?What Kind of Activities does Daruma Do? 

1) Holds meetings (both “Daruma: Study Group on Disaster Prevention” and “Town Planning Course on Local Disaster Prevention”)

2)   Plans and manages the “Training course of coordinators who contribute to practical disaster prevention and town planning”
3)   Plans and manages cooperative courses on disaster prevention at the school and local level
4)   Voices opinions aimed at the government regarding disaster prevention and disaster reduction
5)   Participates in various events and cooperates on disaster prevention activities at the local level
6)   Provides post-earthquake reconstruction assistance and participation in risk-management activities
7)   Interacts with people at earthquake struck areas (Kobe, Chuetsu, and Tohoku)
8) Exchanges ideas with academic groups on public works


?Our Members

Most of our members are citizens who belong to residents’ and neighborhood associations who are concerned with disaster prevention. Others are voluntary participants from governments or NPOs. Daruma serves as a human network base on disaster prevention and disaster reduction. Anybody who is able to have a frank conversation with specialists, who is interested in disaster prevention and disaster reduction, and is willing to exchange with others with similar interests, and/or would like to study these topics is welcomed to our group. 

         ・Founded in 2005
・Membership: 109 (as of March, 2015)
・Annual fee: 1,000 yen (Full member); 5,000 yen (Supporting member)
・Contact: Mr. Kuniaki Ikeda (email: ikeda-kuniaki@c03.itscom.net)
            : Mr. Mitsu. Nakajima (email: mitsu.nakajima@coral.ocn.ne.jp)
・Web: http://darumajin.sakura.ne.jp/