Japan’s Triple Disaster : Pursuing Justice after the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Fukushima Nuclear Accident book cover
1st Edition

Japan’s Triple Disaster
Pursuing Justice after the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Fukushima Nuclear Accident

  • Available for pre-order on May 19, 2023. Item will ship after June 9, 2023
ISBN 9781032375465
June 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
304 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations

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USD $170.00

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Book Description

The authors of this volume discuss questions of disaster and justice from various interdisciplinary vantage points, including public policy, science and technology studies, law, gender, sociology and psychology, social and cultural anthropology, town planning and tourism.

The term "natural" disasters is a misnomer; cataclysmic natural events that impact humans can often be anticipated and their consequences should be prevented – the failure to do so is a failure of politics, policy and risk planning. Presenting research on more than a decade after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the chapters highlight not only the manifold challenges in the direct disaster response and policy making but also the difficulties of "just" long-term recovery. Arguing for just distribution, recognition and participation, this volume provides a diversity of perspectives on these issues as experienced after the 2011 disasters through detailed and nuanced analyses presented by early career researchers and senior academics coming from various countries and continents of the world. The insights of this volume galvanise the discussion of disaster governance and highlight the variety of disaster (in)justices and the ways disasters force people to contest and reimagine their relationships with their neighborhoods, countries, families, and friends.

A valuable read for scholars and students researching issues related to mass emergencies, justice theory and civil activism.

Table of Contents


Natalia Novikova, Julia Gerster, and Manuela Hartwig

Part I: Nuclear Disaster and Recovery Challenges

1. 10 Years of Recovery and Revitalization Policies after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster

Kota Kawasaki

2. Restoring the Rights of Fukushima Nuclear Accident Victims through Collective Lawsuits

Masafumi Yokemoto

3. Voicing the Invisible: Resilience, Adaptation and Resistance in the Narratives of the Fukushima Plaintiffs

Giulia De Togni

4. Japanese Politics and Nuclear Energy in the Ten Years since Fukushima: A Meta-Political Justice Perspective

Katsuyuki Hidaka

Part II: Dismissed Voices and Agency

5. Disasters and Domestic Violence: Making Structural Injustices toward Women after the Great East Japan Earthquake Visible

Mariko Ogawa

6. Citizenship and Disaster: Experiences of Foreign Women after 3.11

Sunhee Lee

7. The Recognition of "Death by Disaster"

Yuki Sadaike

Part III: Discredited Voices in the Credibility Economy of Disaster

8. Strategic Just-Peacebuilding and Citizen Activities after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

Akiko Ishihara

9. The Right to Be Heard: Analyzing Parents’ Activism in the Kantō Region

Natalia Novikova

10. Growing up in Fukushima Prefecture after the Nuclear Accident: Young People Give Voice to the Stories of Non-Evacuated Communities

Shira Dayan Taube

Part IV: Place-making and Identity

11. Community Empowerment for a Just Recovery of Gathering Spaces: Case Studies from 3.11

Yegane Ghezelloo and Elizabeth Maly

12. Lowering Mountains, Raising Walls: Impacts of Rebuilding in Coastal Miyagi Communities

Alyne Delaney

13. From Being Seen and Heard to Feeling Displaced — The Double-Edged Sword of Tōhoku’s Post-Disaster Tourism

Anna Vainio and Annaclaudia Martini

14. The 3.11 disasters and Challenges of Pursuing Justice: Epilogue

Aya H. Kimura

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Natalia Novikova is a Language Instructor at Tamagawa University, Japan. She received her Ph.D. in International and Advanced Japanese Studies at the University of Tsukuba, Japan.

Julia Gerster is an Assistant Professor at the Disaster Culture and Digital Archive Division at the International Research Institute for Disaster Studies at Tohoku University, Japan. She received her Ph.D. in Japanese studies with a disciplinary focus in social and cultural anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin in 2019.

Manuela G. Hartwig is currently a research associate at the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Tsukuba, Japan. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Tsukuba in Advanced Social Japanese Studies in 2020 focussing on the role of "science advisers" in Japan’s energy and climate change policymaking network.


"Japan’s Triple Disaster is an ambitious and important book. It is unusual for bringing into dialogue the quite different constellation of issues found in the nuclear disaster and the coastal tsunami disaster. It is also unusual for its attention to a wide range of often overlooked—of women, of children, of foreign residents. Anyone interest in aftermath and memory of disaster, whether in Japan or around the world, should read this book."

Andrew Gordon, Project Director of the Japan Disasters Digital Archive (JDA), Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History, Harvard University

"This is a well-researched and sophisticated collection of smart papers that allows us to see the 2011 disasters in a new way. It is one of the best examples of detailed research that explores the aftermath of the triple disaster. Moreover, it allows us to see the complicated aspects that the disasters revealed to us as always lurking just below the surface of local and national polity. Each chapter is theoretically informed and researched with careful detail. The different facets of justice become a very productive and original way to reexamine this disaster we once thought of as familiar. I recommend this book for scholars in the field and delightfully, due to the largely jargon free writing, it would work wonderfully for a course textbook."

David H. Slater, Ph.D., Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Graduate Program in Japanese Studies, Sophia University, Tokyo

"This book addresses critical and challenging but invisible issues that should not be forgotten in disaster recovery and risk management. It is a must-read for disaster researchers and practitioners to understand injustices in disaster risk management, and gain hints to overcome them."

Takako Izumi (PhD), Director, APRU Multi-Hazards Program, Associate Professor, International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS)/Graduate School of International Cultural Studies,Tohoku University, Japan