The Aftermath of the 2011 East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: Living Among the Rubble (英語) ハードカバー – 2016/9/30
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An insightful study in disaster anthropology, this book takes as its focus the fishing town of Otsuchi in Japans Iwate Prefecture, one of the worst damaged areas in the mammoth 2011 tsunami. Here, 1281 of the pre-tsunami population of 15000 were killed and 60% of houses destroyed. To make matters worse, the towns administrative organs were completely obliterated, and fire ravaged the downtown area for three days, blocking external rescue attempts.
Complete with vivid and detailed witness testimony collected by the author, the book traces the course of eighteen months from the day of the disaster, through the subsequent months of community life in the evacuation centers, onto the struggles between the citizens and local governments in formulating reconstruction plans. It particularly addresses community interactions within the post-disaster context, assessing the locals varying degrees of success in organizing emergency committees to deal with such tasks as clearing rubble, hunting down food and obtaining fuel, and inquiring into the sociological reasons for these differences. It also casts new light on administrative failings that significantly augmented the loss of human lives in the disaster, and are threatening to bring further damage through insistence on reconstruction centered on enormous sea walls, against local citizens wishes.
Shoichiro Takezawa's excellent book illustrates the power of social cohesion even during the most intense traumas: the compounded disasters that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. Through detailed studies of how some communities in the city of Otsuchi organized and began to rebuild even when in evacuation shelters following the tsunami, he illuminates how critical social ties are during and after disaster.--Daniel P. Aldrich, Northeastern University
This study by the social anthropologist Shoichiro Takezawa is based on careful, sensitive, and minute participant observation among the people of Tohoku from immediately after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami of 2011 to the present day. It records how people escaped from the tsunami and managed to reach evacuation shelters and analyzes the difficulties in fulfilling the needs of its victims. The objects of this book are to record how people escaped from the Tsunami, to relate how people managed to reach evacuation shelters, to describe what kind of reconstruction people want, and to analyze the difficulties that lie in the way of fulfilling the needs of the Tohoku earthquake victims. Based on first-hand interviews and meticulous anthropological fieldwork, Takezawa has provided a detailed, well-written, and extremely moving account that will be invaluable for those engaged in future disaster relief efforts as well as those seeking to learn more about the aftermath of this tragic event.--Crispin Bates, University of Edinburgh
A vivid--at times raw--and highly compelling 'live' account of the experience of Japan's devastating March 11, 2011 tsunami, and the 18 months to follow, in a few coastal communities in Iwate Prefecture. This is a highly readable and personally-felt account grounded in comparative participant-observation by an academic ethnographer turned community organizer. It also pores over historical documentation and contemporary media, academic, and government accounts of an area prone to tsunami. As a critical narrative of devastated communities' efforts and frustrations in dealing with, for the most part, heavy handed or downright boneheaded governmental authorities, this book will be of interest both to those studying disaster generally as well as those concerned with the demise of rural communities in Japan. Most importantly, it should be read by government officials or those in positions of authority who, as specialists in disasters around the globe have noted, continue to deliver 'assistance' without inclination to listen to the communities their work affects.--Mitchell W. Sedgwick, London School of Economics and Political Science
Social anthropologist Takezawa's account of what occurred in the coastal villages of Iwate Prefecture following the disastrous events of March 11, 2011, is built on personal experience as a disaster relief volunteer, professional expertise as an ethnologist, and extensive involvement in citizen-led redevelopment efforts. The result is a personalized analysis that produces insights of value to anyone interested in the "ethnography of disaster." The book covers the 18-month period following the earthquake and tsunami. Its three chapters focus on individual accounts of escape from the tsunami, on relief efforts to care for the thousands of displaced survivors, and on the reconstruction planning process at the local village level. Takezawa's approach combines on-the-ground experiences (both his own and those of other individuals directly affected) with insights derived from the larger historical and anthropological context. Although many of his recommendations for future disaster planning efforts apply specifically to Japan, most are worth consideration by anyone involved in similar work anywhere in the world. In particular, Takezawa (National Museum of Ethnology, Japan) highlights the value of local social cohesion undergirding successful relief and reconstruction efforts and the role of administrative failings at both the national and local level in hampering those efforts. Summing Up: Recommended. Faculty and professionals.--CHOICE
This book is an essential read for all social scientists on community responses to sudden and substantial shocks, particularly as we move forward into an era of potentially magnified complex events with a deepening of the longer-term pressures of ageing, depopulation, and climate change. Our thanks to Shoichiro Takezawa for providing such a detailed and comprehensive qualitative overview of what actually happened in northeastern Japan on that day in March 2011.--Japanese Studies
As a volunteer working in the town of Ōtsuchi in Iwate prefecture, the author collected the personal accounts of survivors, while observing and engaging in help and reconstruction efforts. The result is a book that retells in detail and with empathy the experiences of surviving the immediate catastrophe, living in and running evacuation shelters, and finally planning the reconstruction of local communities. . . . The detailed and personal records that the author has compiled in this book are precious and insightful, and his critique of institutional and individual failure is likewise poignant and important.--Pacific Affairs
Shoichiro Takezawa is professor of social anthropology at the National Museum of Ethnology of Japan.