Friends of Sakurajima Volcano

July 21st, 2013

KAGOSHIMA, JAPAN – To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Sakurajima Taisho eruption, Kagoshima is hosting the Friends of Volcano Fair.

The fair is part of an outreach program at IAVCEI 2013 to increase awareness of volcanic hazards.

The fair is part of an outreach program at IAVCEI 2013 to increase awareness of volcanic hazards.

An over-sized 3-D relief map shows Sakurajima nestled snugly into Kagoshima Bay, emphasizing just how important volcanic hazards are to the people of Kagoshima.

An over-sized 3-D relief map shows Sakurajima nestled snugly into Kagoshima Bay, emphasizing just how important volcanic hazards are to the people of Kagoshima.

DSC04784Rhythmic thumping drew me out of the conference center to the front garden, where I was treated to a drum performance called Sakurajima Hinoshima Taiko, or Sakurajima Island Drums of Fire.

Here’s a video of the drums in action:

Although there can be negative health effects for those who live near volcanoes, the fair highlighted many of the positive aspects to having Sakurajima as a neighbor. A product display called The Blessings from Volcanoes featured products made from volcanic materials. Local companies are making soaps and other products that exploit the abrasive properties of ash. There were also some novel uses of shirasu (volcanic ejecta) that were new to me.

The tiles in the middle and on the right are made of ash, which are much lighter and more durable than the traditional concrete tile, shown on the left.

The tiles in the middle and on the right are made of ash, which are much lighter and more durable than the traditional concrete tile, shown on the left.

This shirasu greening base is an environmentally friendly landscapting option. It has excellent water retention properties, which allow it to be used to create green space on train tracks, rooftops, and in parking lots.

This shirasu greening base is an environmentally friendly landscapting option. It has excellent water retention properties, which can be used to create green space on train tracks, rooftops, and in parking lots.

Although the fair was focused on Sakurajima, it also offered an opportunity to highlight some of Kagoshima’s other attractions, like the aquarium.

At the aquarium booth, people had a chance to touch sea cucumbers, urchins, and hermit crabs.

At the aquarium booth, people had a chance to touch sea cucumbers, urchins, and hermit crabs. (FYI, sea cucumbers are soft and slimy).

 

One Response to “Friends of Sakurajima Volcano”

  1. Mark Wilsonon 21 Jul 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Nice post. I hope you also touched the sea urchins … and let a hermit crab crawl up your arm!

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