Professor Hiroshi Okumura (Professor and Dean of Graduate School of Humanities, Kobe University/Vice-Director of Office of Promoting Regional Partnership, Kobe University). Born in 1960, I am an expert on Modern Japanese History and Historical Archive Studies. Particularly, I have been investigating the formation process of regional societies in Japan from the end of Edo period to Meiji period, whereas working on many editorial projects of municipal histories, such as in Kobe and Himeji cities. Furthermore, since the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake in 1995, as a leading committee member of the Shiryo-net [the network to conserve historical materials in Japan], I have promoted various activities to protect local historical and cultural heritages in areas devastated by natural disasters. In this field, I also serve as a member of various committees, [e.g. Cabinet Office 39’s committee for protecting cultural heritages and creating communities resilient to natural disasters] and provide expertise in protection and utilization of local historical heritages to wider society. My recent books are Great Earthquakes and Conservation of Historical Materials: From the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake to the Great East Japan Earthquake (Tokyo: Yoshikawakobunkan, 2012) and Regional Historical Heritage and Contemporary Society (Kobe:Kobe University Press, 2018).