WGHVJ Homepage

Homepage of the working group on historical volcanology based on ancient-modern literature in Japan

Japanese version is here.

Last modified: May 6, 1999.

What is the WGHVJ?
The WGHVJ (Working Group on Historical Volcanology based on ancient-modern literature in Japan), established in October 1994 and dissolved in September 1997, is one of the working groups of the Volcanological Society of Japan. The WGHVJ aimed to collect, decode, analyze, and interpret historical documents, which were written mainly with the classical Japanese language and include descriptions about volcanic activities.

What we did?
In Japan, numerous documents, which include descriptions about volcanic and possible volcanic activities, were found and are still being found in various historical literatures, which were written during the 6th century to the recent time. Such descriptions have been collected and interpreted since the end of the 19th century by volcanologists and several databooks were published in the early half of the 20th century. However, most of all the Japanese volcanologists did not know and still do not know how to evaluate the reliability of historical documents, which often include many mistakes, falsehoods, and inaccurate descriptions. Consequently, many of the documents have been regarded as facts and thus the present list of the historical eruptions in Japan includes numerous "ghost eruptions" and several "ghost active volcanoes".
Such a situation is not good for the development of volcanology and disaster prevention in Japan. Thus, we started to reevaluate all of the historical descriptions about volcanic activities using the knowledge and know-how, which have been collected by the historians and historical seismologists in Japan, and to revise the eruptive history of each volcano or each eruption.

Our publications
We issued a bimonthly newsletter "Rekishi Funka (Historical Eruptions)" (sorry, written in Japanese), which reports a discovery or re-discoverty of historical descriptions about volcanic and possible volcanic activities, an interpretation or re-interpretation of them, and an introduction of knowledge or know-how for evaluating the reliability of historical documents, etc.
Moreover, in 1998, we published a special issue of Bulletin of the Volcanological Society of Japan as a final report of activities of the WGHVJ.

Any question or comment is always welcome to the following representatives of the WGHVJ.

Masato Koyama
Faculty of Education, Shizuoka University, 836 Oya, Shizuoka 422-8529, Japan
Fax: +81-54-238-4635
My homepage

Ryusuke Imura
Department of Geological Sciences, Kagoshima University, 1-21-35 Korimoto, Kagoshima 890-0065, Japan
Fax: +81-99-259-4720

Katsuhiko Ishibashi
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Kobe University, 1-1 Rokkodai, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501, Japan
Fax: +81-78-803-0490

Related homepages

Catalog of the eruptions for the past 2000 years in Japan