What Caused the JL123 Crash?

When I first started conducting research about the JL123 crash (also known as JAL123), I had no intentions of looking at the cause of the crash at all. As far as I was concerned, it was a known fact: following an accident in 1978, the rear pressure bulkhead was damaged, incorrectly repaired, and this led…

Post 524 – Remembering The Victims of the JL123 Plane Crash

This is blog post number 524. For many I suspect that there is no particular significance of this number. But like 123 and 520, I will always associate it with JL123, Japan’s and the aviation world’s Titanic, which has been one of my research areas since 2007. 524 is the official number of crew and…

Researching the JL123 isho (last messages)

As I have posted about before, since I moved my website to this one, consistently one of the most popular post each month is the one that contains my translations of the isho (last messages) written on JL123 (JAL 123). I have decided to do some more research about the isho and what people’s interest…

Interview for Swedish magazine about the JL123 isho and “Brända Brev”

I was recently interviewed by Monika Israelsson for the Swedish magazine Aftonbladet Söndag about Dan T. Sehlberg’s book Brända Brev (The Burnt Letter Society) and the JL123 isho and their continued significance. The article is available online – albeit behind a paywall – see https://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/a/e8bG1R/breven-fran-flygkrascherna For more information about my research about JL123, see this…

Book Review: The Three by Sarah Lotz

I was first alerted to this book by one of my former students when they pointed out that my own book Dealing with Disaster in Japan: Responses to the Flight JL123 Crash was referred to in the acknowledgements. Reading such a comment means so much to me, particularly about a book which I put so…

Book Review: Pet Shop Boys, Literally

I read a lot of books. I buy many more books than I read and have often been guilty of tsundoku, whereby I collect books without ever reading them. The nature of the books I read varies greatly. There are those that I use for my research, but more and more I read novels (which…

Post 123

This is blog post number 123. For many I suspect that there is no particular significance of this number. 123. Or 1, 2, 3. But for me, I will always associate it with JL123, Japan’s and the aviation world’s Titanic, which has been one of my research areas since 2007. I have already done a…

Brief Encounters in Research

Over the past couple of days I have been reflecting upon the way I do some of my research. The starting point for this was a webinar delivered by Prof Joy Hendry, called ‘An Affair With A Village’. Details about the event can be found on the RAI website, and there is also a YouTube…

The significance of the isho (last messages) on JL123

I’ve recently moved my website. Whilst many things have changed, one thing has remained the same. Consistently one of the most popular pages (on many days, the most popular) is the one that contains my translations of the isho (last messages) written on JL123 (JAL 123). I have written in my book Dealing with Disaster…

The JL123 Isho

Update: I am currently conducting a survey about people’s interest in and impressions of the isho. Please could you help with my research by going to the following page when you have finished reading the post below.  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZVPLJB3.  One of the most well known aspects of JL123 are the isho (‘last notes’, ‘last memo’, ‘will’, or ‘final…

A Summary of the JL123 Crash

On 12 August 1985, Japan Airlines flight JL123 (registration JA8119) took off from Haneda bound for Itami in Osaka. There was a mixture of passengers- many returning to their ancestral home for the Obon religious festival, businessmen, and families returning from Tokyo Disneyland. The passenger list also included the singer Kyu Sakamoto, the Hanshin Tigers…