1st Edition

Anthropology and Disaster in Japan Cultural Contributions to Recovery after the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami

By Hiroki Takakura Copyright 2023
    126 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book focuses on the 3.11 disaster in Japan, involving a powerful earthquake and tsunami, from an anthropological perspective. It critically reflects on the challenges of conducting anthropological research when encountering disaster at home and the position of social scientist as sufferer. Emphasizing the role of culture in disaster mitigation, the book offers theoretical consideration of the role of cultural heritage in risk management, in line with recent trends in international policy on disaster risk reduction. Taking an approach “with the people in,” the author explores how culture features in disaster recovery at community level and considers implications for policy. The chapters explore the response and adaptation by local cultural practitioners and performing arts groups as well as farmers and fishers. Japanese farming and fishing are presented as an innovative and dynamic part of the recovery process. The book will be of interest to scholars and policymakers working in disaster studies, Japan studies, and fields including anthropology, geography, sociology, and heritage management.

    1 Introduction

    2 The anthropologist as both victim and disaster researcher

    3 Reflections from a survey of post-disaster intangible cultural heritage

    4 The structural time in the folk performing arts

    5 The strategies of the paddy farmers with indigenous knowledge

    6 The norms of recovery among small-scale fisheries

    7 Conclusions


    Hiroki Takakura is Professor of Social Anthropology at Tohoku University, Japan. He is affiliated with the Center for Northeast Asian Studies and the Graduate School of Environmental Studies.