2016 Field Trip Report(Minamata-city, Kumamoto)
GSGES went on an annual field trip to Minamata City, Kumamoto Prefecture from Oct. 30 – Nov. 1, 2016, where commemorating 60 years anniversary since the official recognition of Minamata disease. Ninety two students and nine professors joined the trip and visited museums, factories, forest area etc., and communicated with local people including patients, story tellers, government leaders, company workers, experts, citizens, NGO members, etc.
The trip began with Mayor Nishida Hiroshi’s welcome speech in English at the Minamata Environmental Academia, followed by lecture on mechanism of Minamata disease by Dr. Hachiya Noriyuki from National Institute for Minamata Disease. We also visited Minamata Disease Municipal Museum, Minamata Disease Archives and Monument for the Victims. On the evening, Mr. Kanazashi Junpei, Japanese paper artisan, alumnus of Sophia University, shared with us his story of Minamata.
On the next day, we visited the Japan New Chisso factory where is the cause of Minamata disease, and the bottle recycling company. In the afternoon, we met staffs and patients from the nursing home called Hot House and story teller, Mr. Sugimoto Hajime.
On the final day, we divided into three groups and visited Satoyama area and studied life in the nature. After coming back to the Environmental Academia, we had group discussion and shared three days experience, followed by feedback comments by Director Koga Minoru.
After coming back from the field research in Minamata, students continued group work and had final presentation on Nov. 30. Mr. Tanoue Tomofumi from Minamata Environmental Academia kindly joined the meeting. We really appreciate all the people in Minamata who made our field trip possible. Mayor Mr. Nishida shared our study trip on his blog.
Nishinippon News on Nov. 1, 2016 and Kumamoto Daily News on Nov. 3, 2016 respectively reported our activities (copyright permission were obtained). (Japanese Only)