Snow Damage in Contemporary Japan – Progress and Measures –
Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Tohoku Institute of Technology, 35-1 Yagiyama-kasumicho, Taihaku-ku, Sendai 982-8577, Japan
We review snowfall disasters, the transition of snow damage in contemporary Japan and its social background, and progress in measures against snow damage. After reviewing how snow damage has changed with social change, we summarize features of contemporary snow damage. We discuss snow damage in 1963, 1981, 1996, and 2006 as examples typical of snowfall disasters, damage conditions, and measures and issues involved. Increasingly sophisticated urban functions have aggravated urban snow damage, urban building reform basically has lagged, and snow damage has recently threatened even the existence of mountainous area suffering due to a shrinking, aging population.