Eight years later


Today marks eight years since the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

I intend not to replace the immediate, intimate, and introspective accounts of the disaster. But 3.11 has become part of the mass media consciousness, if not the national consciousness—as this manga from Inio Asano serves as an allegory to. At the risk of relating the disaster to Tokyo when really the devastation it brought to many people’s lives has little to do with Tokyo—except, perhaps, for reduced electricity consumption and having fewer trains run for a while—train companies in Tokyo pull off an annual stunt to stop every single train on their network at the moment the earthquake struck, while Yahoo Japan tells everyone, especially people in Shibuya, to remember by typing “3.11” into their search engine. And what was the minister for reconstruction thinking when he said, with television cameras rolling, that he was relieved that it happened in Tohoku, because if it was anywhere closer to the Tokyo metropolitan area, the economic loss to Japan would be much greater? And what is wrong with people who bully children fleeing from Fukushima to Tokyo?

Further reading

  1. The Asia-Pacific Journal’s Japan’s 3.11 Earthquake, Tsunami, Atomic Meltdown Article Index
  2. Christopher Thouny and Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto (eds), Planetary Atmospheres and Urban Society After Fukushima (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
  3. Eiko and Koma, A Body in Fukushima
  4. Matthew Komatsu, After the Tsunami (2019)
  5. Mori Art Museum, Catastrophe and the Power of Art (2018)
  6. Richard J Samuels, 3.11, Disaster and Change in Japan (Cornell University Press, 2013) (official site for the book)
  7. Asahi Shimbun, 朝日新聞縮刷版 東日本大震災 特別紙面集成 2011.3.11~4.12 (Asahi Shimbun, 2011)
  8. Kahoku Shimpo, 河北新報のいちばん長い日 震災下の地元紙 (文春文庫, 2014)
  9. Ryu Honma, 原発プロパガンダ (岩波新書, 2016)
  10. Kyosuke Shinnami, 牛と土 福島、3.11その後。 (集英社文庫, 2018)
  11. Takashi Soeda, 東電原発裁判―福島原発事故の責任を問う (岩波新書, 2017)
  12. Sugiyama University, 「6枚の壁新聞」から1年 (2013) / Courrier, 「壁新聞」発行で震災を乗り切った石巻日日新聞から、クーリエが学んだこと (2017)
  13. Yoko Tawada, 献灯使 (講談社文庫, 2017), published in the United States and translated by Margaret Mitsutani as The Emissary (New Directions, 2018)
  14. Retsu Wakasugi, 原発ホワイトアウト (講談社文庫, 2015)
  15. Yusuke Yamashita, Takashi Ichimura, and Akihiko Sato, 人間なき復興: 原発避難と国民の「不理解」をめぐって (ちくま文庫, 2016)