Accepted Paper:

Disasters and memories: traces, recollections and stories  

Author:

Isao Hayashi (National Museum of Ethnology)

Paper short abstract:

The paper focuses on a conflict between the claim of delivering grievousness of disasters and lessons to the future and individual feelings to avoid feelings which recall sad and difficult experiences in the regions devastated by the Great East Japan earthquake disaster.

Paper long abstract:

The coastal zones of the north-east Japan have been hit by tsunamis several times for the last one thousand years. And, those who have experienced the tsunami disasters have made an effort to convey the facts of the disasters, their personal experiences and what they learned from those experiences to future generations. With regards to the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, various facets from the initial occurrence to the present have been captured and recorded in innumerable photographs, videos and texts, and efforts have begun to catalog those records. Also 'storytellers' have started to work talking about their experiences face-to-face in words on the spots where they experienced the disaster.

At the same time, we should not forget that there are those who cannot tell their story even though they recognize the importance of conveying their personal experiences. The records and memories of disasters left by our predecessors for future generations were likely determined amidst the devastation after much discord and discussion.

The paper will be focusing on discussions over the preservation of the remaining wreckage, storytelling and others. There is a conflict between the claim of delivering grievousness of disasters and lessons to the future and individual feelings to avoid feelings which recall sad and difficult experiences. The significance of recording all the process of issue will be emphasized from an anthropological perspective.

Panel P118
Mourning, memorialization and recovery in post-disaster contexts