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,…

Remembering the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and Remembering

Today is the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami – also known as ‘3/11’. Unsurprisingly, this anniversary has led to many events, news stories and articles about the event – both reflections on what happened on 11 March 2011, the lessons that can be learnt, and also those about what the…

Disasters by the Book – How Japanese may be Designing Disasters

As we approach the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami – often referred to as 3/11 – there are many articles and webinars discussing the events themselves and also the legacy and lessons learnt. I attended two webinars last week on this topic, and may write a separate post about this,…

“252 Seizonsha Ari” – Dramatic Japanese Disaster Movie

The next of my posts about movies which I studied for my article “Disaster Narratives by Design: Is Japan Different?” is about 252 Seizonsha Ari (252生存者あり) (Nobuo Mizuta, 2008), known as 252: There Are Survivors or 252: Signs of Life in English. A summary of the movie on IMDb is as follows: A massive earthquake…

“Nihon Chinbotsu” – Japan Gets That Sinking Feeling… twice

In the next of my posts about movies which I studied for my article “Disaster Narratives by Design: Is Japan Different?“, I am writing about Nihon Chinbotsu (日本沈没) known as ‘Japan Sinks‘ in English. As mentioned in an earlier post, given that Japan experiences frequent earthquakes, including major ones, and the long history of disaster…

“Jishin Retto” – Classic Japanese Disaster Movie

In the next of my posts about movies which I studied for my article “Disaster Narratives by Design: Is Japan Different?“, I am writing about Jishin Retto (地震列島) (Kenjiro Ohmori, 1980), also known as ‘Earthquake Archipelago‘, ‘Deathquake’ and ‘Megaforce 7.9’ in English. Given that Japan experiences frequent earthquakes, including major ones, and the long history…

Creating Disasters

I have been studying disasters for over 13 years, ever since I decided to research the JL123 plane crash. This has involved reading a lot of academic and practitioner works on disasters (and related subjects). Out of all the ones that I have read, other than finding it interesting that there is no single agreed…

Researching Japan – My busiest trip

I have been visiting Japan since 1989, going there at least once in all but two years since my first visit. To date (May 2020), there have been 45 trips and the majority of these have been for research. As well as keeping notes from the observations and interviews and taking photos during these trips,…