Remembering the Great Hanshin Earthquake

Today (17 January) is the anniversary of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake – also known as the Hanshin Awaji Daishinsai (Great Earthquake) or Kobe earthquake (阪神・淡路大震災). On that day I was in Sheffield, in the first year of doing my PhD – but it could have been very different. A little over 24 months earlier,…

My Top Disaster Movies

For my article “Disaster Narratives by Design: Is Japan Different?” I studied 38 English-language disaster movies from 1978 to 2018 and a further 22 Japanese-language disaster movies. Since the article was published, I have seen a few more disaster movies. All of these I have written separate blog posts about. What I haven’t done until…

Designs That Defined Modern Japan: The Emergency Exit Sign

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I attended an excellent webinar on the topic ‘Designs That Defined Modern Japan’ by Professor Hiroshi Kashiwagi, and the audience were set the challenge of coming with their own list of 8 Designs That Defined Modern Japan. I have already done six posts (these are not in any…

Remembering 9/11

Today (11 September 2021) is the twentieth anniversary of the ‘9/11’ attacks. As with another recent post (All Accidents are Human Error), I have been inspired to write this post thanks to listening to the Take To The Sky Podcast. They have done a couple of podcasts recently in relation to 9/11 (on top of…

All Accidents are Human Error

Over recent weeks I have been listening to a number of episodes by Take To The Sky Podcast and watching some episodes of Aircrash Investigation (as it’s known on Disney+ in the UK). Naturally, one of the things that both look to discuss is the probable cause of the crash, and often this can end…

The 36th Anniversary of the Flight JL123 Crash

I have been conducting research about the Japan Air Lines flight JL123 (also known as JAL123) since 2007. The research not only covers the crash itself (you can find a summary here), but also the aftermath of the disaster and the way in which it impacted the lives of so many people around the world….

Lecture – “Japanese Disaster Narratives: Conservatism and Revisionism”

On Saturday 24 April 2021 I gave an online lecture for The Japan Society on the topic of ‘Japanese Disaster Narratives: Conservatism and Revisionism’. Japan has a long history of disaster movies. This lecture explained some of the key similarities and differences between English-language (primarily Hollywood) disaster narratives and Japanese ones. It was based on…

Reporting and Responding to Disasters

I have previously done some posts (such as Creating Disasters and Disasters by the Book – How Japanese may be Designing Disasters) relating to one of the most significant concepts to have impacted my research – the idea that disasters are ‘designed’ as put forward by Dennis Mileti. This concept has underpinned much of my…

Remembering the Hillsborough Disaster

Today, 15 April, is the anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. For those unfamiliar with what happened, here are the key points taken from Wikipedia: The Hillsborough disaster was a fatal human crush during a football match at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, on 15 April 1989. It occurred during an FA Cup semi-final…