Disaster and Death in Japan: Responses to the Flight JL123 Crash

suzuki

Whilst death itself is inevitable, some will die ‘untimely’ deaths in accidents or disasters, for example. This chapter discusses Japanese attitudes to death and religion in relation to one such tragedy – the JAL flight JL123 crash on 12 August 1985 in which 520 people died in what is arguably Japan’s and the aviation world’s equivalent of the sinking of The Titanic. As well as considering the responses in 1985, the chapter highlights particularly characteristics of the long-term memorialization process in Japan that result from Japanese attitudes to death and religion when a loved one has died an ‘untimely death’.

‘Disaster and Death in Japan: Responses to the Flight JL123 Crash’ in Suzuki, H. (ed.), Death and Dying in Contemporary Japan: Shifting Social Structures and Values, Routledge (2012), pp202-225. ISBN 978-0415631907 (Hb), 978-1-13-881565-0 (Pb)
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