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Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining

Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining

The site encompasses a series of twenty three component parts, mainly located in the southwest of Japan. It bears testimony to the rapid industrialization of the country from the middle of the 19th century to the early 20th century, through the development of the iron and steel industry, shipbuilding and coal mining. The site illustrates the process by which feudal Japan sought technology transfer from Europe and America from the middle of the 19th century and how this technology was adapted to the country’s needs and social traditions. The site testifies to what is considered to be the first successful transfer of Western industrialization to a non-Western nation.

Sites de la révolution industrielle Meiji au Japon : sidérurgie, construction navale et extraction houillère

Le bien est composé d’une série de vingt-trois composantes se trouvant essentiellement dans le sud-ouest du Japon. Cet ensemble témoigne du développement industriel rapide qu’a connu le pays entre le milieu du XIXe et le début du XXe siècle, fondé sur la sidérurgie, la construction navale et l’extraction du charbon. Ils illustrent le processus par lequel de Japon féodal chercha à opérer un transfert de technologie depuis l’Europe et l’Amérique à partir du milieu du XIXe siècle et la manière dont cette technologie fut adaptée aux besoins et aux traditions sociales du pays. Ce processus est considéré comme le premier transfert d’industrialisation réussi de l’Occident vers une nation non occidentale.

المواقع الخاصة بثورة مايجي الصناعية في اليابان
صناعة الحديد وبناء السفن واستخراج الفحم الحجري (اليابان( - يضم الموقع 11 ممتلكاً يقع العدد الأكبر منهم في جنوب غرب اليابان. ويشهد هذا المجمع على التطور الصناعي السريع الذي عرفه البلد بين أواسط القرن التاسع عشر وبداية القرن العشرين والذي ارتكز على صناعة الحديد وبناء السفن واستخراج الفحم الحجري. ويبرِز المجمع العملية التي لجأت اليابان إليها في زمن الإقطاعية لنقل التكنولوجيا من أوروبا وأمريكا اعتباراً من أواسط القرن التاسع عشر، والطريقة التي اعتُمدت لتكييف هذه التكنولوجيا مع احتياجات البلد وتقاليده الاجتماعية. ويمثل ذلك أول عملية تكللت بالنجاح كان هدفها نقل نهج التصنيع من الغرب إلى بلد غير غربي.

source: UNESCO/ERI

明治工业革命遗迹:钢铁、造船和煤矿
这片遗址包括十一处地产,主要位于日本西南部。这片建筑群见证了日本十九世纪中期至二十世纪早期以钢铁、造船和煤矿为代表的快速的工业发展过程。这处遗址展示了十九世纪中期封建主义的日本从欧美引进技术,并将这些技术融入本国需要和社会传统中的过程。这个过程被认为是非西方国家第一次成功引进西方工业化的示例。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Памятники промышленной революции эпохи Мэйдзи: заводы, верфи и угольные шахты
Объект состоит из одиннадцати элементов, большинство из которых находится на юго-западе Японии. Этот ансамбль является свидетельством стремительной промышленной революции конца XIX - начала XX века, которая произошла благодаря активному развитию черной металлургии, кораблестроения и добычи угля. Памятники промышленной революции отражают стремление феодальной Японии, начиная с середины XIX века, перенять технологии из Европы и Америки и адаптировать их к нуждам и социальному укладу страны. Промышленная революция эпохи Мэйдзи считается первым успешным примером освоения западных промышленных технологий другими культурами.  

source: UNESCO/ERI

Sitios de la revolución industrial de la era Meiji en Japón
Siderurgia, construcciones navales y extracción de hulla (Japón) – Se trata de un bien cultural en serie compuesto por once sitios industriales situados principalmente en el sudoeste del Japón, que constituyen un testimonio del acelerado desarrollo industrial del país entre mediados del siglo XIX y principios del XX, gracias a la intensificación de la siderurgia, las construcciones navales y la extracción de carbón. Esos sitios ilustran no sólo la tentativa del Japón feudal para conseguir una transferencia de las tecnologías aplicadas en Europa y América, sino también la forma en que las adaptó a sus propias necesidades y tradiciones sociales. Se considera que esa transferencia de técnicas industriales desde Occidente hacia una nación no occidental fue la primera en su género que pudo realizarse con éxito.

source: UNESCO/ERI

明治日本の産業革命遺産 製鉄・製鋼、造船、石炭産業

source: NFUAJ

Locaties van de Meiji Industriële Revolutie in Japan: ijzer en staal, scheepsbouw en kolenwinning

De site, voornamelijk gelegen in het zuidwesten van Japan, bestaat uit 23 onderdelen. Het erfgoed getuigt van de snelle industrialisatie van het land van het midden van de 19e eeuw tot vroeg in de 20e eeuw aan de hand van de ontwikkelingen in de staalindustrie, scheepsbouw en mijnbouw. Het feodale Japan ging vanaf het midden van de 19e eeuw op zoek naar technologieën uit Europa en Amerika en paste die aan aan wat het land nodig had, en aan de sociale tradities. Deze site wordt beschouwd als de eerste succesvolle overgang van industrialisatie in Westerse stijl naar een niet-Westers land.

Source: unesco.nl

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Nirayama Reverbatory Furnaces © Izunokuni City
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

A series of industrial heritage sites, focused mainly on the Kyushu-Yamaguchi region of south-west of Japan, represent the first successful transfer of industrialization from the West to a non-Western nation. The rapid industrialization that Japan achieved from the middle of the 19th century to the early 20th century was founded on iron and steel, shipbuilding and coal mining, particularly to meet defence needs. The sites in the series reflect the three phases of this rapid industrialisation achieved over a short space of just over fifty years between 1850s and 1910.

The first phase in the pre-Meiji Bakumatsu isolation period, at the end of Shogun era in the 1850s and early 1860s, was a period of experimentation in iron making and shipbuilding. Prompted by the need to improve the defences of the nation and particularly its sea-going defences in response to foreign threats, industrialisation was developed by local clans through second hand knowledge, based mostly on Western textbooks, and copying Western examples, combined with traditional craft skills. Ultimately most were unsuccessful. Nevertheless this approach marked a substantial move from the isolationism of the Edo period, and in part prompted the Meiji Restoration.

The second phase from the 1860s accelerated by the new Meiji Era, involved the importation of Western technology and the expertise to operate it; while the third and final phase in the late Meiji period (between 1890 to 1910), was full-blown local industrialization achieved with newly-acquired Japanese expertise and through the active adaptation of Western technology to best suit Japanese needs and social traditions, on Japan’s own terms. Western technology was adapted to local needs and local materials and organised by local engineers and supervisors.

The 23 components are in 11 sites within 8 discrete areas. Six of the eight areas are in the south-west of the country, with one in the central part and one in the northern part of the central island. Collectively the sites are an outstanding reflection of the way Japan moved from a clan based society to a major industrial society with innovative approaches to adapting western technology in response to local needs and profoundly influenced the wider development of East Asia.

After 1910, many sites later became fully fledged industrial complexes, some of which are still in operation or are part of operational sites.

Criterion (ii): The Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution illustrate the process by which feudal Japan sought technology transfer from Western Europe and America from the middle of the 19th century and how this technology was adopted and progressively adapted to satisfy specific domestic needs and social traditions, thus enabling Japan to become a world-ranking industrial nation by the early 20th century. The sites collectively represents an exceptional interchange of industrial ideas, know-how and equipment, that resulted, within a short space of time, in an unprecedented emergence of autonomous industrial development in the field of heavy industry which had profound impact on East Asia.

Criterion (iv): The technological ensemble of key industrial sites of iron and steel, shipbuilding and coal mining is testimony to Japan’s unique achievement in world history as the first non-Western country to successfully industrialize. Viewed as an Asian cultural response to Western industrial values, the ensemble is an outstanding technological ensemble of industrial sites that reflected the rapid and distinctive industrialisation of Japan based on local innovation and adaptation of Western technology.

Integrity

The component sites of the series adequately encompass all the necessary attributes of Outstanding Universal Value. In terms of the integrity of individual sites, though the level of intactness of the components is variable, they demonstrate the necessary attributes to convey Outstanding Universal Value. The archaeological evidence appears to be extensive and merits detail recording research and vigilant protection. It contributes significantly to the integrity of the nominated property. A few of the attributes are vulnerable or highly vulnerable in terms of their state of conservation. The Hashima Coal Mine is in a state of deterioration and presents substantial conservation challenges. At the Miike Coal Mine and Miike Port some of the physical fabric is in poor condition. The physical fabric of the Repair shop at the Imperial Steel Works is in poor condition although temporary measures have been put in place. In a few sites there are vulnerabilities in terms of the impact of development, particularly in visual terms. At the Shokasonjuku Academy, the visual integrity of the setting is impacted by the subsequent development of the place as a public historic site and experience. However, this development does not adversely compromise its overall integrity. The visual integrity of the Takashima Coal Mine is compromised by small scale domestic and commercial development, while at Shuseikan, the Foreign Engineer’s Residence has been relocated twice and is now located in the proximity of its original location. The residence is surrounded by small scale urban development that adversely impacts on its setting. The setting can only be enhanced if and when the surrounding buildings are demolished and any further development is controlled through the legislative process and the implementation of the conservation management plan.

Authenticity

In terms of the authenticity of individual sites, though some of the components’ attributes are fragmentary or are archaeological remains, they are recognisably authentic evidence of the industrial facilities. They possess a high level of authenticity as a primary source of information, supported by detailed and documented archaeological reports and surveys and a large repository of historical sources held in both public and private archives. Overall the series adequately conveys the way in which feudal Japan sought technology transfer from Western Europe and America from the middle of the 19th century. And adapted it to satisfy specific domestic needs and social traditions.

Protection and management requirements

A number of existing legislative protection instruments, both national and regional, provide a high level of protection for the sites and associated buffer zones. The relationship between the different types of legislation is provided in the conservation management plans for each area. The most important of these instruments are the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties that is applied to the non-operational sites, and the Landscape Act that applies to the privately owned and still operational sites that are protected as Structures of Landscape Importance. This applies to the four components owned and operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. at Nagasaki Shipyard, and the two components owned and operated by Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation at Imperial Steel Works. The Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties is the primary mechanism for regulating any development and change of the existing state of a designated place and under this law permission must be granted by the national government. Similarly, under the Landscape Act permission must be sought to change any Structure of Landscape Importance and owners of such structures must conserve and manage them appropriately. The control of development and actions within the buffer zones is largely controlled by city landscape ordinances that limit the height and density of any proposed development. Conservation management plans for each of the components have been developed that detail how each component contributes to the Outstanding Universal Value of the series. “Basic Policies” in the plans provide an overarching consistent conservation approach though there are variations in the level of detail provided for the implementation of work in each component.

The Japanese Government has established a new partnership-based framework for the conservation and management of the property and its components including the operational sites. This is known as the General Principles and Strategic Framework for the Conservation and Management of the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Kyushu-Yamagachi and Related Areas. Japan’s Cabinet Secretariat has the overall responsibility for the implementation of the framework. Under this strategic framework a wide range of stakeholders, including relevant national and local government agencies and private companies, will develop a close partnership to protect and manage the property. In addition to these mechanisms, the private companies Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation and Miike Port Logistics Corporation have entered into agreements with the Cabinet Secretariat to protect, conserve and manage their relevant components. Attention should be given to monitoring the effectiveness of the new partnership-based framework, and to putting in place an on-going capacity building programme for staff. There is also a need to ensure that appropriate heritage advice is routinely available for privately owned sites. What is urgently needed is an interpretation strategy to show how each site or component relates to the overall series, particularly in terms of the way they reflect the one or more phases of Japan’s industrialisation and convey their contribution to Outstanding Universal Value.