Fukushima, Northeastern Japan and the Conceptualization of Catastrophe

The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011 was a complex event. It was a disaster of multiple dimensions, unleashing the linked forces of seismic shock, tsunami, and nuclear radiation. This confluence left a varied array of damage in its wake. The personal traumas of death and loss combined with the social trauma of ruptured families, the economic trauma resulting from the physical destruction, and the psychic trauma arising from an uncertain future. Such a complex disaster demands a multifaceted exploration into its nature, implications, and meaning. The essays in this collection cross academic and geographic boundaries to explore the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami from a wide range of perspectives and to apply the analytical and interpretive tools of multiple disciplines to the study of the disaster and the various forms of trauma it inflicted.

Christopher Craig is Associate Professor of Japanese History at Tohoku University in Japan.

Enrico Fongaro is Associate Professor of Italian and Western Aesthetics at Tohoku University in Japan.

Andreas Niehaus is Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Culture at Ghent University in Belgium.