Northeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

2 - Excavating memories through HTML: The internet and the personal archive of Maekawa Toshiyuki

Saturday, July 7
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Jacaranda I, First Floor

This paper examines the impact of the internet on the private practice of preserving historical documents. It also looks at the type of communication that the architecture of the world wide web afforded its users to have at the turn of twenty-first century.


   The paper particularly focuses on the personal practice of MAEKAWA Toshiyuki who has been collecting historical materials related to the lives of people in the Mitsui Miike Coal Mine for two decades. Maekawa was born in Omuta city, then at the center of the mine town, in 1953. He moved to the Kansai region in March 1961, and now lives in Hikone city, Shiga prefecture. In 1997, the year when the coal mine was closed, he launched a website featuring lives of common people in post-war Miike. He started his project as a personal practice of preserving memories of his own hometown where he spent his childhood, but it gradually received the attention of many people who had connections with Omuta but were now dispersed across Japan. Some of these people began entrusting documents and artefacts to Maekawa. Now his collection has grown into a unique and valuable archive.


   Examining the development of Maekawa’s personal archive and the network of people who contributed to it, this paper discusses the conditions and effects of encounters between the mining community of Miike and cyberspace.

Takashi Miyamoto

The University of Tokyo, Japan

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2 - Excavating memories through HTML: The internet and the personal archive of Maekawa Toshiyuki



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