Organized Panel Session
This panel presents interdiscipinary reflections on responses to disasters across 20th-21st Century Japan. In the drastic and gradual processes of falling apart of a given life world, in aftermath of wars, natural and technological events, political violence, and economic restructuring, individuals and communities have framed ‘disasters’ and their aftermath in ways that make it manageable for them to interpret, intervene, and interact. By examining together different responses to ‘disasters’ and their ‘effects' across time in Japan, this panel engages with the social concerns and anxieties of the time; the critical perspectives casted on dominant social structures, values, and discourses of the time; experimental ways in which different actors have responded; and how these responses interact and remain influential across time and place.
Yuki Miyamoto discusses various attempts to restore the moral order after WWII -- attempts to recreate civil religion and civic virtue -- which encompassed science, as demonstrated in the Atoms for Peace Exhibit in Hiroshima. Jun-Hee Lee examines the centrality of the Second World War in the Utagoe movement’s formulation of worldview and historical narrative, done through an analysis of Utagoe’s celebrated “laborer-composer” figure Araki Sakae. Daniel O’Neill interrogates how 3.11 documentary filmmaking practices have challenged representational practices and suggested alternative modes of thinking through their engagement with increasingly complex ecological issues. Finally, Hiroko Kumaki elucidates social critiques entailed in disaster mental healthcare after the nuclear fallout in Fukushima amidst the struggle to re-establish ‘healthy’ relationships to the post-fallout environment.