鶹AV

Project 08

Walking hand in hand with the local community by taking root A report from the frontline of recovery and reconstruction from the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes

Tsuruya Department Store Reconstruction Project

Background

A story about the struggles of Nishimatsu Construction on playing a part in recovery and reconstruction from the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes

Aiming for early recovery

On the night of April 14 and in the small hours on April 16, 2016, earthquakes that measured 7 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 occurred in Kumamoto and Oita. In addition, the region was hit by several strong earthquakes, including one that measured an upper-6 on the seismic intensity scale, which resulted in devastating damage across a wide area.
Tsuruya Department Store, which is one of Kumamotos most time venerable department stores and which plays a leading role in the local economy, was also damaged greatly by these two strong earthquakes. Images of the building where shown by news media as a symbol of the earthquake damage. The story of the struggle for its restoration (reopening) served as an encouraging message for people making reconstruction efforts. Staff from Nishimatsu Construction, who knew every detail of the building, its surrounding area, and the entire Tsuruya Department Store, drew a roadmap for its reconstruction and scrambled to implement it.

Concentration demonstrated, aiming for full reopening

Meister Konishi

The client strongly desired to conclude the reopening of the entire main building around 1.5 months after the disaster (June 1) by resuming operation on a floor-by-floor basis, starting from the lower floors. To meet this goal, those involved began to act immediately.
Amid the chaos in the aftermath of the earthquake, we focused our efforts on mobilizing our partner companies while proceeding with investigations and design with support from the overall company. Meister Konishi visited the companies on his own, telling them our strong desire to reconstruct Tsuruya. As a result, we were able quickly mobilize high-level partner companies, most of which were local.

Overseeing Director Numa

Looking back at the project, Overseeing Director Numa said, Without experience and technology, it would have been impossible to disassemble the penthouse roof, which was about to fall off, with human power alone. In other words, because people from Tsuruya, our staff members, partner companies and the local community worked together and shared a strong commitment to achieve reconstruction, we could do that much in such a short period.
Because we are established in the area and have operated there for many years, it enabled us to promptly handle the situation. This is another project site where the hands-on capabilities of Nishimatsu are demonstrated.

Message from Mr. Hiroki Nakajima, Director and General Manager of Architectural Equipment Division, Tsuruya Department Store Co., Ltd., the client

We would like to continue building a relationship of trust, with both of us remaining as community-based companies that value the local community.

Mr. Hiroki Nakajima, Director and General Manager of Architectural Equipment Division
Mr. Nakajima from Tsuruya Department Store

While we were unable to gain an overall picture of the damage, the sight of some parts of the building made us recognize the devastation of the disaster. After judgment was made about the structure by Nikken Sekkei Ltd., the reconstruction work advanced quickly. Opening the store and serving customers constitutes the core part of our business. To resume business, we decided to reopen the lower floors while continuing reconstruction of the remaining floors, one by one.
We were under scheduling pressure. In addition to the construction work on the building, we faced many challenges, such as reconstruction-related demand from affected areas and the Golden Week holidays. However, thanks in part to the strong network of Mr. Konishi and other staff members of Nishimatsu with the local community and warm support from partner companies, the ambitious project that included the removal of the penthouse proceeded as scheduled, which provided a sense of focus. The work was done in consideration of our business hours, traffic conditions in the surrounding area and other factors. Both of us are community-based companies that value the local community and have the same perspective. We would like to continue building a relationship of trust with Nishimatsu Construction, which does every task carefully, regardless of the scale.

Nishimatsu Construction and Kumamoto

Nishimatsu Construction has a close relationship with Kumamoto. It is believed that our first construction work in this area was the railway construction project for the Japan National Railways Misumi Line (between Uto and Misumi-ko), which was completed in 1898 by our founder, Keisuke Nishimatsu, as a subcontractor of Hazama Corporation.
Since then, we have completed several railway construction projects in Kyushu, including those for the Kagoshima Line, the Miyazaki Line and the Hisatsu Line, thereby establishing trust and a track record. In March 1926, we established the Kumamoto Branch at Honjo-machi in Kumamoto, where Mr. Yoneshichi Hayashi was appointed as the first branch manager while he was in his 30s. (He was later appointed as the third president of the company.) Kyushu Branch had been located in Kumamoto for 25 years until it was relocated to Fukuoka in September 1951.