Date Oct 31[Wed] – Nov 1[Thu], 2018
Venue Wakayama Big Whale
Organizers Wakayama Prefectural Government / Wakayama Prefectural Board of Education / Hirogawa Town / Hirogawa Town Board of Education
Co-organizers United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Office in Japan
National Resilience Promotion Headquarters / Director General , Disaster Management Bureau, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan / Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan / Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology –Japan / Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism / Japan Meteorological Agency / Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) / Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) / Wakayama University / JICA


Oct 31[Wed], 2018

12:45 - 13:35 Opening Ceremony
14:20 - 15:15 Commemorative Tree Planting Ceremony ・ Monument Unveiling Ceremony ・ Commemorative Photo
15:25 - 16:45 Workshops

Nov 1[Thu], 2018

9:30 - 12:00 Workshops
13:00 - 14:00 Lecture on Tsunami Disaster Risk Reduction(Lecturer:Project Professor Toshitaka Kadaka , The University of Tokyo)
14:20 - 17:00 General Meeting ・ Closing Ceremony

General Theme

To protect people’s lives from disasters, let’s learn together the spirit of Hamaguchi Goryo in Wakayama, at the birthplace of the story of “Inamura-no-Hi”.


With the aim of deepening international understanding and raising awareness of the threat of tsunami and precautionary measures against it, the resolution to designate November 5 as “World Tsunami Awareness Day”, jointly proposed by 142 countries including Japan, was adopted by consensus at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in December 2015.

The designation of November 5 derives from the anecdote known as “Inamura-no-Hi” in which Hamaguchi Goryo, a heroic figure of Wakayama Prefecture, saved the villagers’ lives from the tsunami by setting fire to his rice sheaves to guide people to higher ground when the village, current Hirogawa Town in Wakayama Prefecture, was struck by the tsunami resulting from the Ansei Nankai Earthquake on November 5, 1854.

Hamaguchi Goryo not only saved people’s lives but also devoted himself to reconstruction of the devastated village by spending his own fortune to hire the villagers to build an embankment to prepare for future tsunami. It is notable that the embankment actually minimized the damages to the village when a tsunami triggered by the Showa Nankai Great Earthquake hit the village in December 1946.

The anecdote known as “Inamura-no-Hi” (Fire of Rice Sheaves) includes all three elements which need to be considered for disaster risk reduction: (1) the protection of lives, (2) recovery of the affected area, and (3) building capacity of disaster risk reduction to prepare for future hazards.

To protect people’s lives from natural hazards such as earthquakes and tsunami, it is important to implement necessary measures in a comprehensive and structured manner on disaster risk reduction and mitigation, rapid recovery and reconstruction as well as international cooperation across the world along with deep understanding of expertise on disaster risk reduction and the threat of disasters.

In order to foster future leaders who protect people’s lives and their properties from natural hazards such as earthquakes and tsunami, minimize the damages brought by these disasters on people’s living and economy and contribute to the enhancement of resilient societies, the High School Students Summit on “World Tsunami Awareness Day” was launched and successfully held in Kochi Prefecture in 2016 and in Okinawa Prefecture in 2017.

In Kuroshio Town, Kochi Prefecture, high school students from 30 countries participated in the summit and adopted “Kuroshio Declaration”. In Okinawa Prefecture, those gathered from 26 countries mainly from island countries designed action plans which are summarized in the booklet of “Ambassadors’ Note”.

Wakayama Prefecture has been implementing advanced countermeasures against tsunami such as the e-mail distribution service to urge early evacuation through the utilization of the tsunami forecasting system and the setting of safety levels of evacuation destinations. In addition, to raise public awareness of its residents about tsunami disaster risks, lectures for tsunami risk reduction have been held based on the latest analysis of recent major disasters. Moreover, it has been making efforts to share the anecdote of “Inamura-no-Hi” globally, by inviting the awardees of “Hamaguchi Award” to the prefecture. The award is named after Hamaguchi Goryo and was inaugurated by Japanese Government in 2016.
As a home of Hamaguchi Goryo and the story of “Inamura-no-Hi”, Wakayama Prefecture is firmly committed to making continuous efforts to raise awareness about the importance of tsunami preparedness by passing down the lessons learned from past disasters to future generations across the world on the basis of the spirit of Hamaguchi Goryo, which led the establishment of “World Tsunami Awareness Day”.

Building upon the successful outcomes of the previous summits, the High School Students Summit on “World Tsunami Awareness Day” 2018 in Wakayama will be held with the aim of fostering future leaders in the field of disaster risk reduction and protecting the precious people’s lives around the world by inviting high school students from Japan and other countries from all over the world to Wakayama Prefecture, the root of “World Tsunami Awareness Day”.


479 people (※ Including 2 Chairpersons)
*Participants from overseas: 293 people (47 countries)
*Participants from Japan: 186 people (49 high schools)




Inamura-no-Hi no Yakata