Introduction(Practicing a Public Anthropology of the East Japan Disaster)

Shinji Yamashita
2014 Japanese review of cultural anthropology  
On March 11, 2011, a mega-earthquake of 9,O magnitude struek East Japan, foIlowed by a towering tsunami and the meltdown of several nuclear reactors in Fukushima, This was a huge disaster of unprecedented complexity, The disaster left approximately 20,OOO dead, including missing people, and it is said that the damage can be estimated at 17 trillion Japanese yen. The authors of this special issue have been studying the East Japan Disaster sinee its earliest stages and have already published what
more » ... eady published what David Slater has called "urgent ethnography" (Slater 2013), However, what we should understand is that disaster is a long process. The process of recovery firom the disaster proeeeds at a snail's pace. As of November 2014, more than three'and'a-half years after the disaster, there were still about 240,OOO evacuees and displaced people,i and the local economic situation remained shaky. Particularly in Fukushima, the nuclear plants still remain in cTitical condition. In this situation this special issue raises methodological, theoretical and practical questions regarding how anthropologists should engage with the disaster over a longer time span, and what anthropologists can do sustainably in collaborative research projects toward the future, Putting anthropology to work in the public sphere, we hope to practice a publie anthropology that contributes to the understancling and solution of contemporary publie issues beyond the narrow discipline of anthropology, while collaborating with various actors and organizations involved. The East Japan Disaster is exactly
doi:10.14890/jrca.15.0_105 fatcat:cxoptepefzdcjhby7zagf7vkv4