Memories and “Negative History”: How to convey the 3.11 Disasters? (Advance registration required, Hybrid)

2023.08.01 15:15
Date and Time: September 23, 2023 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (JST)

Event Details

Memories and “Negative History”:
How to convey the 3.11 Disasters?
 While it is important to pass on negative history, there are many challenges associated with it. For example, it took decades after the end of World War II for kataribe activities to emerge and the preservation of negative heritage such as the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima to be decided. Similar challenges can be found regarding disasters, with the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster being a recent example. Some people want to convey the memory of the “3.11 disasters” so that a similar tragedy will never happen again. However, some people no longer want to see the damaged buildings that have become “disaster heritage,” and others may not want to relive their painful experiences of the earthquake through the stories of kataribe storytellers. In addition to the damage caused by natural phenomena such as earthquakes and tsunamis, the 3.11 disasters also had a major impact on society due to the damage caused by radiation from the nuclear power plant accident. Although often lumped together as the “Great East Japan Earthquake,” or “3.11,” it is necessary to recognize the difference between Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, which were severely damaged by the tsunami, and Fukushima Prefecture, which in addition was burdened with the invisible risk and stigma of a nuclear disaster. While there are many kataribe storytellers in the former, there are few in the latter, to name just one example. This symposium will examine and discuss the issues of memory and transmission of the 3.11 disasters, as a national crisis in Japan's history. We will examine various concrete tools for memory formation and transmission, such as negative heritage, performances through kamishibai (paper plays), and digital archives of disaster-stricken areas.
Date & Time September 23, 2023 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (JST)
Format Hybrid
Please register here.
September 20, 2023
  Lunch box : August 31, 2023 (no restaurants on site)
  Kamishibai tour : August 31, 2023
International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University(Access map
468-1 Aoba, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi 980-8572
Tel : +81-22-752-2099 (Disaster Culture and Archive Studies)
Language Japanese or English with translated captions
【Schedule】    Flyer  (Japanese only)    Abstracts    Presenters' Bio
Day 1: Symposium (Saturday, September 23)
9:00 am - 9:10 am
 Opening remarks
9:10 am - 10:40 am
(each presenter has a 20-minute talk followed by Q&As at the end of the session)
Session 1: Cultural Memories and Objects as Storytellers
   ● Speaker 1: Shinzo Araragi, Department of Sociology, Yamato University and Sophia University
       The Difficulties of the War and Colonial Experiences: How have they been Told and How have they been Passed on?
   ● Speaker 2: Andrew Gordon, Department of History, Harvard University (online)
       The Rhyming History of Disasters: Ashio and Fukushima
   ● Speaker 3: Ryo Morimoto, Department of Anthropology, Princeton University (online)
       3.11 Devil's Archive or How to Erect TEPCO's Grave
10:50 am - 0:20 pm (発表時間は各20分、セッションの最後に質疑応答)
Session 2: Transmission and Expression of Memories
   ● Speaker 4: Shosuke Sato, IRIDeS, Tohoku University
       Current Situation of Disaster Storyteller Activities in Japan: An Analysis of Tohoku and Other Regions that Pass down Experiences of catastrophes, including Disasters, Wars, and Accidents
   ● Speaker 5: Anna Wiemann, Ludwig-Maximilians-Univerität München
       Kataribe and Zeitzeugen: Storytelling of Historical Events
   ● Speaker 6: Julia Gerster, Tohoku University
       Challenges in Transmitting Disaster Memory in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima after 3.11
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
 Fukushima Kamishibai Performance: Introduction by Mihoko Murakami, Tetsuo Murakami, and Hidenobu Fukumoto
2:10 pm - 3:40 pm
Session 3: Historical Studies of Kamishibai and Digital Archives
   ● Speaker 7: Taketoshi Yamamoto, NPO Institute of Intelligence Studies
       Kamishibai Propaganda
   ● Speaker 8: Sharalyn Orbaugh, University of British Columbia (online)
       Selling the War to the People: The Storylines of Propaganda Kamishibai
   ● Speaker 9: Kaoru Ueda, Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Stanford University
       Digitizing Kamishibai: from Group Consumption to Individual Experience
4:00 pm - 4:45 pm
 Panel Discussion
4:45 pm - 5:00 pm
 Closing remarks
Day 2: Fukushima and Kamishibai Study Tour (Sunday, September 24)
Time: 8:30 am
Place: In front of the “Anpanman Statue” at Sendai Station East Exit.
    (Tohoku Univ. staff will be waiting there, holding a sign for the tour.)
Cost: Fee of charge (The overall costs for participation will be covered by Tohoku University. )
However, lunch and entrance to Ukedo Elementary need to be covered by the participants (about 2000 Yen).
Deadline: August 31 (Please note that the tour might be fully booked before the deadline.)
    10:30 Visit of the Disaster Heritage site Ukedo Elementary School in Namie Town.
              Kamishibai: “The miracle evacuation. The Story of Ukedo Elementary School”
    11:30 Lunch at Ikoi no Mura Namie
              Kamishibai: “The Story of the Namie Fire Brigade. Regret.” And “Under the invisible cloud.”
      1:30 Leave Ikoi no Mura Namie for Tsushima
      2:00 Visit the Tsushima area, which is part of the exclusion zone (“Difficult-to-return-zone”)
      3:00 Kamishibai: “The Story of the milk cows.”
      3:30 Leave Tsushima for Sendai
      5:30 Arrive at Sendai Station
Inquiry: Julia Gerster (Disaster Culture and Archive Studies)
  Email: gerster<at> (Please replace <at> with @ and send.)
Organizing Committee Members: 
 Akihiro Shibayama, Julia Gerster, Tohoku University
 Kaoru Ueda, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
 Nobuhiro Fukumoto, Machimonogatari Seisaku Iinkai