Industrial Heritage Information Centre, as a comprehensive information hub, is to support the Interpretation Strategy (submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in November 2017) for the "Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding, and Coal Mining") by closely working together with other associated visitor centers located across 11 cities in 8 prefectures.

The Information Centre is also designated as a "think-tank" that is to focus on the following matters: Documenting industrial history and heritage, both domestic and international; Research and study; Public Relations; Education & Training; Conservation and Utilization; Digital Archives; and, Information dissemination that includes industrial labour and workers' lives.

©NIPPON STEEL CORPORATION Kyushu Works [Private Facility]

  • p-about-body__imgLiquid Galaxy™
  • p-about-body__imgPanel Exhibition
  • p-about-body__imgTablet Study Contents


The building industry holds a significant place in history because it contributes to nurturing civilization. Japan swiftly laid the foundation for an industrial nation from the middle of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, becoming the first non-Western nation to successfully industrialize. In just over fifty years, Japan accomplished rapid industrialization through a self-determined strategy. This is an achievement that is worth sharing with the world. Japan was a secluded island archipelago in the Far East, where the influence of Western science and technology was severely limited due to the strict control on foreign interactions. Samurai Clans encountered Western science for the first time at the end of Edo era in order to meet the challenge to cast iron cannons and build large ships for the defense of the nation. This was triggered by the sudden appearance of the United States Far Eastern Squadron in Edo Bay in 1853. The Tokugawa Shogunate responded by lifting its two centuries old seclusion policy. Following the opening of the nation, the new Meiji government went through the pains and the social reform of the Meiji Restoration and adopted a policy to promote industry as a national goal.

The "Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution" consists of 23 component parts spread across eleven cities in eight prefectures in Japan - from Iwate in the north, to Kagoshima in the south. The sites include several operational industrial facilities, such as parts of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industry Nagasaki Shipyard, parts of the former Imperial Steel Works in the Yawata area (presently the Kyushu Works of the Nippon Steel Corporation), as well as large-scale industrial infrastructure such as the Miike Port. Large-scale industrial heritage sites are also included, such as the abandoned Hashima, the island where coal was mined from beneath the ocean.

The purpose of the Industrial Heritage Information Centre (IHIC) is to strengthen the link between each visitor center and the World Heritage site, and to introduce World Heritage values and the wider associated history of each of the component parts. IHIC offers a Reference Room where computer monitors and displays provide access to a wide variety of information on industry and everyday life, particularly respecting the work of all who strived to industrialize the nation. This is material that must be passed on to future generations. That is why IHIC archives source primary documentation and evidence, including memories and records contributed by the people who actually lived and worked at these sites during WW2. IHIC also raises people’s awareness by promoting various projects and activities including archiving industrial heritage and history, research, PR, interpretation, education and training, conservation, digital archives, and information technology applications. I hope you find IHIC interesting and visit us!


Koko Kato

Industrial Heritage Information Centre (IHIC)

What we do

  1. Research institute as "Think-Tank"
  2. Surveys and Research
  3. Advice and Instruction on Conservation and Management
  4. Education and Training
  1. Exhibition Strategy
  2. Development of effective display and exhibition as well as digital promotion
  3. Collaboration of other associated visitor canters for local revitalization


They will be updated on the Website.

Materials and Information

Audio visual materials on the World Heritage site as well as industrial labor will be uploaded on a regular basis.