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Introduction: Art and Activism in Post-Disaster Japan はじめに 災害後の日本におけるアートとアクティビズム

February 16, 2015
Volume 13 | Issue 7 | Number 1
Article ID 4277

On 11 March 2011, the northeastern area of Japan, known as Tōhoku, was hit by an unprecedented earthquake and tsunami.1 The disaster damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, one of a number of such facilities located in what was already an economically disadvantaged region.2 This led to a series of explosions and meltdowns and to the leakage of contaminated water and radioactive fallout into the surrounding area. Around 20,000 people were reported dead or missing, with a disproportionate number from the aged population of the region. Nearly four years later, hundreds of thousands of people are still displaced: evacuated to other areas, living in temporary accommodations, or living in makeshift shelters in former public buildings. There has been despoliation of the environment and contamination of food, air and water. Primary industries like fishing and dairy have been curtailed. Livestock have suffered excruciating deaths due to injury, radiation sickness and starvation, or have had to be "put down". The nuclear power industry in Japan is effectively shut down, and people are enjoined to save electricity (setsuden) in order to cope with the reduced capacity for power generation. This multiple disaster has reverberated on a number of scales – in the local communities immediately affected, in civil society groups who have sent volunteers to the region, in more distant places which have welcomed refugees from the disaster, in the responses of local and national governments, and in international expressions of solidarity and concern.

In this special issue, we focus on artistic and activist responses to the disaster, but without assuming that "art" and "activism" are necessarily discrete activities. In the wake of a disaster with such immense social implications, all of the diverse ways of attempting to communicate about the disaster – whether documentary or artistic – have political dimensions. Indeed, many of the contributors to this issue reflect on the near impossibility of communicating the experience. Similarly, it is difficult to dismiss the artistic element in many of the political responses – such as the use of music, drumming, rapping, street theatre, masks, costumes and posters in demonstrations. The close relationship between art and activism in the wake of the disaster is exemplified by artist Nara Yoshitomo. He uploaded his anti-nuclear poster to the internet, so that people could print it out at their local convenience store and take it to demonstrations.3

Nara Yoshitomo "No Nukes".

There have been various grassroots responses. Volunteers are working with NGOs to support affected and displaced communities. Civil society activists collect signatures for petitions, hold public meetings and engage in demonstrations at strategic sites like the Diet Building, the Prime Minister's residence, relevant government ministries, power companies, and in the streets, parks and other open spaces of their local communities. Citizen scientists are documenting the level of radioactive contamination in different parts of Japan and challenging the veracity of information provided by governments.4 Others have attempted to document the disaster through personal testimony, interviews, photography, journalism, documentary film, ethnography, academic research and other means of communication.5 Documentary screenings stimulate civil society discussions among audiences in real time, while others disseminate their experiences and reflections on social media sites like youtube.6 Artists in a range of media have responded to the crisis, expressing anger, sadness, grief, confusion, bewilderment, empathy and solidarity. Giving expression to these shared feelings can also be a stimulus to action.

The political repercussions of the disasters have been immense, as people in Japan and beyond reflect on the systems and structures behind decisions to locate nuclear power plants in vulnerable and impoverished regional communities or to allow development in low-lying areas which are susceptible to tsunamis. Tōhoku is close to known seismic fault lines, and there is a long history of earthquakes and tsunamis on the Pacific coast of Japan. Questions have also been raised about the ways in which decisions were made about so-called 'safe' levels of nuclear radiation, about the height levels of protective walls, and about the number of years a nuclear plant can be operated. Even before the Fukushima disaster it was known that decisions about the location of nuclear power plants were made through national and local governments and power companies providing incentives to local communities to host these facilities. It was also known that areas with strong civil society structures were better able to resist these overtures. In current writings, the coalition of science, business, conservative political parties and national and local governments is known as the genshiryoku mura, or "nuclear power village".7

Many now challenge the notion of a "natural" disaster. While the timing and scale of events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, floods or bushfires are beyond human control, their effects are mediated by social conditions and by the history of human interaction with the environment. As far back as 1906, Japanese anarchist Kōtoku Shūsui (1871–1911), who witnessed the Great San Francisco Earthquake, noted of the disaster that,

hunger followed, and cold. Unemployment followed. One hundred thousand poor tasted bitter suffering to its fullest extent. And yet, this was not the fault of the fire, this was the fault of today's social order alone.8

This has become apparent, not only in Fukushima, but in the case of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in the US in 2005, and the droughts, floods and bushfires which have ravaged Australia in recent years.

Disasters have a profound impact on the shaping of culture.9 When Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans it made apparent the racialised, gendered and class divisions in US society. Cultural responses to Katrina like the HBO television series Treme engaged directly with these issues and depicted the tensions which pervaded everyday life in the post-disaster city.10 This contributed to the writing and re-writing of an otherwise familiar place which had been radically transformed by disaster.11 In this special issue we trace how the Fukushima disaster is being imagined and reimagined; we place these imaginings in a longer cultural history; and consider how these cultural representations are linked to the imagining of alternative futures.

Modern Japan has been shaped by disasters which reverberate through the cultural sphere long after the immediate events. Indeed, in using the phrase "post-disaster", we are not suggesting that the disaster is over. Rather, "post-disaster" refers to all of the continuing repercussions.12 Responses to the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923 referenced the disaster for particular social and political ends.13 The 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake in the Kōbe region provoked what is widely regarded as a flourishing of civil society volunteerism.14 Many of the activist groups which took part in anti-nuclear demonstrations after Fukushima were Non-Profit Organisations (N.P.O.s) incorporated under the auspices of the 1998 Law to Promote Specified Non-Profit Activities (Tokutei Hi Eiri Katsudō Sokushin Hō; generally known as the N.P.O. Law) which was brought in partly as a response to the Hanshin disaster.15

The representation of radiological disasters has a significant place in Japanese cultural history. Artists and activists responded to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by initiating widespread political and cultural movements against nuclear weapons. The Hiroshima Panels by painters Maruki Iri (1901–1995) and Maruki Toshi (1912–2000) toured the country when mention of the impact of nuclear weapons was still being censored by the Supreme Command of the Allied Powers (SCAP).16 After the end of the Allied Occupation in 1952, the experience of the bombings could be dealt with more openly in literature, memoirs, poetry and film.17 The original Godzilla film, released in 1954, includes references to the atomic bombings of 1945 and the Lucky Dragon No 5 (Daigo Fukuryū Maru) Incident of March 1954, where a fishing vessel was irradiated by US nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.18 Post-nuclear apocalypse is a staple of graphic novels and animated films like Ōtomo Katsuhiro's Akira.19 This cultural history of anti-nuclear art provided a context for many of the responses to Fukushima, and will take on further resonance as we mark the seventieth anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2015.

The flourishing of civil society activism in the wake of the Fukushima disaster reminds commentators of the huge demonstrations against the US-Japan Security Treaty in 1960, the anti-Vietnam war movement of the 1970s, and the student left of the 1970s. This history was explicitly referenced by a group who hired a helicopter in order to take an aerial photograph of one of the weekly demonstrations outside the Prime Minister's Residence (Kantei-mae).20 By making this visual representation of the massed demonstrators available on the internet, the group challenged the mainstream media's failure to document the weekly demonstrations.21 Cultural representation (in this case photographs) could not, here, be separated from activism. The aerial photograph of the crowds referenced the famous aerial photographs of the demonstrations around the Diet Building against the renewal of the US-Japan Security Treaty in 1960, thereby reconfiguring historical memory. The Kantei-mae demonstrations were thus placed in a longer history of demonstrations dating back to the 1960s.

Noda Masaya (JVJA), Aerial Photograph of Demonstration 29 June 2012, Creative Commons Licence.

People struggled to come to terms with the disaster by communicating through new social media, debating in print and other traditional media, and engaging in political action. As artists and activists responded to the compound disaster they turned to one another and developed affective networks through which they could share their responses. In her analysis of two post-Fukushima literary texts, Wago Ryōichi's Shi no Tsubute (Pebbles of Poetry) (originally published as tweets) and Kawakami Hiromi's Kamisama 2011, Tamaki Tokita explores the attempt to create affective bonds with disaster victims through artistic expression.22 The government and media in Japan promoted the concept of kizuna (the human bonds between people), which could be seen as encouraging solidarity and empathy. At the same time, however, the official promoters of kizuna have played down the unequal distribution of suffering, pain and precarity in the wake of the compound disaster.23 Tokita takes a critical approach to the concept of kizuna, focusing on expressions of human connectedness which were not mediated by government policy or media advertising campaigns.

Children's literature has also been a medium for artists and poets to respond to the disaster, as Helen Kilpatrick documents in this issue in her analysis of Arthur Binard and Okakura Tadashi's Sagashite imasu (I am Searching).24 Binard and Okakura used images of objects from the Hiroshima Peace Museum to make connections with the contemporary devastation at Fukushima. In the book, these objects are endowed with the power to mourn their missing human owners. The objects are photographed against a backdrop of a kind of granite often used in gravestones, providing a subtle visual reinforcement of the theme of mourning. As with many of the works discussed in these essays, Sagashite imasu places Hiroshima and Fukushima in the same narrative frame, as places which are linked by the devastating effects of irradiation, and as melancholy places of unresolved mourning.

Peter Eckersall considers two theatrical productions, Hirata Oriza's "Sayonara" (2011 version) and Okada Toshiki's "Ground and Floor" (2013), which are also concerned with mourning. Many of the bodies of those lost in Fukushima will never be recovered; the exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant blocks access to the site of their loss; and the long half-life of nuclear material necessitates an almost endless time frame of mourning and recovery. The theme of haunting links these contemporary plays with earlier artistic forms such as Nō theatre, which often focus on spirits who can not find rest.

Alexander Brown discusses guerilla art collective ChimPom who have placed Fukushima in the longer history of nuclear Japan through "completing" Okamoto Tarō's (1911–1996) mural "Asu no Shinwa" (The Myth of Tomorrow) in Shibuya Station. Okamoto's mural depicts the Hiroshima bombing of 1945 and the "Lucky Dragon Incident" of 1954. ChimPom added a panel depicting the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear explosion. For ChimPom, like Okamoto, representing these radiological incidents through art is an important means of defence against the "forgetting" so essential to modern history.

Carolyn Stevens compares photographs of the Fukushima disaster and its aftermath with iconic images from the earlier disasters of nuclear war and environmental pollution. When photographers "quote" earlier iconic images, viewers' responses are informed by historical memory. The photographs are a visual mnemonic, a trigger to memory. The initial response may be an emotional one; this can then be linked to memories of similar photographs of other disasters. For some viewers at least, these memories might prompt questions about the links between, for example, Minamata and Fukushima. Both are communities which suffered through the actions of private companies, and who expressed dissatisfaction with government responses to their suffering. Minamata also provides the example of a longstanding campaign for redress; and is seen as a site where individuals and groups have tried to forge new forms of political connectedness.25

Takanori Tamura explores the use of social media by anti-nuclear activist groups. Social media can also facilitate individual decisions to become politically active. Tamura uses text-mining software to analyse the twitter messages of one individual (who uses the twitter handle @tatangarani).The tweets reveal a developing political awareness in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, reflected in changes in the vocabulary used by @tatangarani, her use of twitter to disseminate information about issues she is committed to; and her more regular participation in demonstrations.

The 3/11 compound disaster has been experienced in the age of globalisation. No place on earth can be sheltered from radioactivity, which is transmitted by ocean currents, by rain, by wind, and in the food chain. The nuclear explosions, meltdowns and radioactive contamination at Fukushima have invited comparison with the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986, an incident which galvanised opposition to nuclear power in Japan.26 The nuclear dimension of the 3/11 disasters also provokes reflection on all of the stages of the global nuclear fuel and weaponry cycle: mining, extraction, the building and operation of nuclear power plants, nuclear testing, and the use of nuclear weaponry. The reference points include the Manhattan Project in Nevada, Bikini Atoll, Maralinga in central Australia (where indigenous communities suffered from nuclear testing in the 1950s), and the places where uranium is mined, which are often associated with the dispossession of indigenous peoples (see Mackie in this issue).27

Responses to the Fukushima disaster exceed the boundaries of the Japanese nation-state. The anti-nuclear movement is a transnational one. Documentaries and feature films circulate internationally; several photographic exhibitions have toured other countries, and some performances and installations have also travelled. International communication about the issue has also, of course, been facilitated by new social media (see articles by Allison Holland, Carolyn Stevens and Vera Mackie in this issue).28

Vera Mackie provides an (auto)ethnographic account of commemorative events held in eastern Australia, where a multicultural performance allowed for the expression of transnational solidarity. Gestures of solidarity were expressed through the embodied experience of attending and participating in local events, through the use of new social media, and through the interactions between these different media. Mackie argues that these events prompted a "re-remembering" of Hiroshima and Nagasaki through the prism of Fukushima, grounded in a recognition of the place of both Japan and Australia in the global nuclear chain.

Allison Holland examines the work of artist Takamine Tadasu, whose installation, "Fukushima Esperanto" in a Brisbane gallery evokes an emotional response to the disaster in its presentation of childhood objects like lost toys, and the overlaying of a nostalgic soundtrack. Fukushima Esperanto evokes history in its references to the bombing of Hiroshima and the post-Second World War "Atoms for Peace" campaign.29 The work also makes connections with a local disaster, the devastating floods suffered in Southern Queensland in late 2010, early 2011 and again in early 2013 while "Fukushima Esperanto" was being exhibited. In Australia, too, the effects of the periodic disasters of floods, droughts and bushfires are mediated by human choices about agricultural industries, the management of waterways and the location of human dwellings.

A further reference point for Fukushima-related politics is the Tokyo Olympics planned for 2020.30 Critics are already noting new forms of repression associated with preparing to host this event. Furthermore, funds which could have been devoted to reconstructing Fukushima are being diverted to the construction of new Olympic facilities. The discussion around the 2020 Olympics reminds us that both artistic practice and political discussions are about imagining possible futures.

Rebecca Solnit has argued that there can be a "paradise built in hell" in the wake of major disasters.31

The assumption has been that we revert to our original nature, and that original nature is chaotic, selfish, panicky, opportunistic. But the actual evidence, over and over again, is that we are orderly, calm, generous, even selfless, creative, and resourceful. The communities people build in emergencies are often utopian. They don't last, but they suggest both what we most desire and that it might be possible. And that we are not who we think we are. And these self-organized communities are also direct democracies, where decisions are made by the group, where everyone matters.32

Unsurprisingly, Solnit's work has stimulated discussion in post-disaster Japan. Some celebrate the flourishing of volunteerism and civil society activism in the wake of the disaster. Others are more pessimistic about the prospects for recovery. Even before Fukushima, people in Japan were suffering through extended economic recession, the rise of precarious employment, and a welfare crisis in the society where population aging has advanced further than anywhere else in the world.33 Will a "paradise" emerge, or a more "hellish" future? Artists are engaged in imagining those possible futures, while activists are trying to bring a better future into being.

These utopic and dystopic visions resonate with Tawara Machi's poetic rendering of fleeing with her primary-school aged son to Okinawa, as far away as possible from Fukushima.

To the West

To the West

Fleeing with my child

If you want to say

I'm a stupid mother

Then say it!34

Tawara's illustrated collection of poetry evokes the micropolitics of everyday life in post-disaster Japan. She documents the initial shock of the earthquake, the decision to take her child to Okinawa, the often negative reactions of her friends to her decision to flee, and the gradual process of making a new home in Okinawa. She also traces moments of kindness in the wake of the disaster and the importance of hanging on to such moments for the sake of imagining better futures.

Holding hands with my son

He complains of hunger

Even though I have 100 yen, there are no rice balls to buy

A boiled egg

From a passerby

Don't you ever forget that boiled egg!35

Recommended citation: Alexander Brown and Vera Mackie, "Introduction: Art and Activism in Post-Disaster Japan", The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 13, Issue 6, No. 1, February 16, 2015.


1 The articles in this special issue draw on papers first presented at a symposium on 'Art and Activism in Post-Disaster Japan, held at the University of Wollongong in August 2013, and convened by Vera Mackie and Alexander Brown. The symposium was supported by the Japan Foundation Sydney Office, the Japanese Studies Association of Australia and the Forum on Human Rights Research at the University of Wollongong. We would like to thank the editors of The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, particularly Laura Hein and Mark Selden, and the reviewers, for their constructive comments on earlier versions of the articles.

2 Kainuma has argued that the siting of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant reflected the semi-colonial relationship between Tokyo and poorer rural areas like Fukushima. See Kainuma Hiroshi, Fukushima ron: Genshiryokumura wa Naze Umareta no ka [On Fukushima: What Gave Rise to the Nuclear Village?], Seidosha, Tokyo, 2011.

3 Nara Yoshitomo, "No Nukes" poster retrieved on 26 December 2014.

4 Richard Hindmarsh (ed.) Nuclear Disaster at Fukushima: Social, Political and Environmental Issues, Routledge, Oxford, 2013.

5 In addition to the extensive coverage in The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, see, inter alia, Jeff Kingston, ed., Tsunami: Japan's Post-Fukushima Future, Foreign Policy Magazine, Washington D.C., 2011; Jeff Kingston, ed., Natural Disaster and Nuclear Crisis in Japan: Response and Recovery after Japan's 3/11, Routledge, Oxford, 2012; Holly Thompson, ed., Tomo: Friendship through Fiction: An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories, Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley; David Karashima and Elmer Luke, eds, March was Made of Yarn: Reflections on Japan's Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Meltdown, Vintage, New York, 2012; Lucy Birmingham and David McNeill, eds, Strong in the Rain: Surviving Japan's Earthquake, Tsunami and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2012; Mark Willacy, Fukushima: Japan's Tsunami and the Inside Story of the Nuclear Meltdown, Pan Macmillan Australia, Sydney, 2013; Hiroshima City University 3/11 Forum, Japan's 3/11 Disaster as Seen From Hiroshima: A Multidisciplinary Approach, Sanseidō, Tokyo, 2013; Roy Starrs, ed., When the Tsunami Came to Shore: Culture and Disaster in Japan, Global Oriental, Leiden, 2014; and Japan Forum, Vol. 26, No 3, 2014.

6 Fujiki Hideaki, "'Shimin ' to Eiga no Nettowāku: 3.11go no Genpatsu o Meguru Shakai Undō no Naka de " ["Citizens" and the Film Network: In the Social Movement Around Nuclear Energy], JunCture, Vol. 5, 2014; David H. Slater, "Fukushima Women against Nuclear Power: Finding a Voice from Tohoku", The Asia-Pacific Journal. Retrieved on 17 August 2012; Women of Fukushima. Retrieved on 24 December 2014 from

7 Daniel Aldrich, Site Fights: Divisive Facilities and Civil Society in Japan and the West, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008. For an account of a twenty years struggle against the building of a nuclear power plant adjacent to the island of Iwaijima in the inland sea see Yamaaki Shin, Genpatsu o tsukurasenai hitobito: Iwaijima kara mirai e [People Who Won't Let a Nuclear Power Plant Be Built: From Iwaijima to the Future], Tokyo, Iwanami, 2012. On the genshiryoku mura, see Kainuma, Fukushima ron.

8 Kōtoku Shūsui, Sōkō Heiminsha Buji [San Francisco Heiminsha Safe], Hikari [Light], no. 13, May 20, 1906, p. 6; cited and translated in George Elison, "Kōtoku Shūsui: The Change in Thought", Monumenta Nipponica, vol. 22, nos. 3–4, 1967, p. 453.

9 Kevin Rozario, The Culture of Calamity: Disaster and the Making of Modern America, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2007.

10 Lynnell L. Thomas, " 'People Want to See What Happened': Treme, Televisual Tourism, and the Racial Remapping of Post-Katrina New Orleans", Television and New Media, vol. 13, no 3, pp. 213–224.

11 See, for example, Herman Gray, "Recovered, reinvented, reimagined: Treme, Television Studies and Writing New Orleans", Television and New Media, vol. 13, no 3, 2012, pp. 268–278.

12 See the discussions of the prefix "post-" in such terms as "post-modern", "post-structuralist" or "post-colonial". Linda Hutcheon, The Politics of Postmodernism, Routledge New Accents, London, 1989; Margaret Rose, The Post-modern and the Post-industrial: A Critical Analysis; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991; Kwame Anthony Appiah, "Is the Post- in Postmodernism the Post- in Postcolonial?", Critical Inquiry, Vol. 17, No 2 (Winter 1991), pp. 336–357; Andrew John Miller, "Fables of Progression: Modernism, Modernity, Narrative", in Stephen Ross, ed. Modernism and Theory: A Critical Debate, Routledge, London, 2009.

13 Gregory Clancey, Earthquake Nation: The Cultural Politics of Japanese Seismicity, 1868–1930, University of California Press, Berkeley, 2006.

14 Rajib Shaw and Katsuichiro Goda, "From Disaster to Sustainable Civil Society: The Kobe Experience", Disasters, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 16–40.

15 Robert Pekkanen, "Japan's New Politics: The Case of the NPO Law", Journal of Japanese Studies, vol 26, no. 1, pp. 111–148. It needs to be acknowledged, however, that the N.P.O. law also had the effect of reshaping the relationship between state and civil society. N.P.O.s are also implicated in the neo-liberal reshaping of welfare policy, as some N.P.O.s are also involved in the provision of welfare services in the context of a shrinking national welfare budget. Karen Nakamura, "Disability, Destitution and Disaster: Surviving the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake in Japan", Human Organization, Vol. 68, No 1, Spring 2009, pp. 82–88.

16 Richard H. Minear, ed., Hiroshima: Three Witnesses, Princeton University Press, Princeton, p.11. The Marukis' paintings also toured Europe, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China from 1953 to 1964. Ann Sherif, Japan's Cold War: Media, Literature and the Law, Columbia University Press, New York, 2009, p. 47.

17 John Whittier Treat, Writing Ground Zero: Japanese Literature and the Atomic Bomb, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1995; Mick Broderick, ed., Hibakusha Cinema: Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Nuclear Image in Japanese Film, Kegan Paul International, London, 1996; Yuko Shibata, "Belated Arrival in Political Transition: 1950s Films on Hiroshima and Nagasaki", in Starrs, ed., When the Tsunami Came to Shore, pp. 231–248.

18 Ralph E. Lapp, The Voyage of the Lucky Dragon: The True Story of the Japanese Fishermen Who Were the First Victims of the H-Bomb, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1957; Ann Sherif, "Thermonuclear Weapons and Tuna: Testing, Protest and Knowledge in Japan", in Jadwiga E. Pieper Mooney and Fabio Lanza, eds, De-Centering Cold War History: Local and Global Change, Routledge, Oxford, 2012, pp. 15–30; Honda Ishirō, Gojira Godzilla], Tōhō, Tokyo, 1954; Yuki Tanaka, "Godzilla and the Bravo Shot: Who Created and Killed the Monster?", The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 13 June 2005. Retrieved on 24 December 2014 from .

19 Ōtomo Katsuhiro, Akira, Tōhō, Tokyo.1988

20 "Ano kiji no sono go o otsutae shimasu. Days Japan forō appu" [Reporting on What Happened After That Article. Days Japan Follow Up], Days Japan, August 2012; Noda Masaya, "Tadashii Hōdō Heri no Kai 6.29 Shūsho Kantei Mae Demo Kūsatsu Shashin o Kōkai" [Helicopter Club for Accurate Reporting Releases Aerial Photographs of Kantei Mae Demonstration], fotgazet, 29 June 2012. Retrieved on 22 December 2014 from .

21 On media reporting of the Fukushima disaster, see Leslie M. Tkach-Kawasaki, "March 2011 On-Line: Comparing Japanese News Websites and International News Websites", in Jeff Kingston (ed.), Natural Disaster and Nuclear Crisis in Japan: Response and Recovery after Japan's 3/11, London, Routledge, 2012, pp. 109–23; Itō Mamoru, Terebi wa Genpatsu Jiko o dō Tsutaeta ka [How Did Television Report the Nuclear Accident?], Heibonsha, Tokyo, 2012.

22 Wagō Ryōichi, Shi no Tsubute [Pebbles of Poetry], Tokyo, Tokuma Shoten, 2011; Kawakami Hiromi, Kamisama 2011 God Bless You, 2011], Tokyo, Kōdansha, 2011.

23 On the differential distribution of precarity, see Judith Butler, Frames of War: When is Life Grievable?, Verso, London, 2009, p. 24.

24 Arthur Binard and Okakura Tadashi. Sagashite imasu I am Searching], Tokyo, Dōshinsha, 2012.

25 Hidaka Rokurō, Sengo Shisō o Kangaeru [Thinking about Post-war Thought]; Iwanami, Tokyo, 1980; Rokurō Hidaka, The Price of Affluence, Melbourne, Penguin, 1985 [1984]; Hidaka Rokurō, 'Personal Retrospective', in Gavan McCormack and Yoshio Sugimoto, eds, Democracy in Contemporary Japan, Hale and Iremonger: Sydney, 1986; Shioda Takashi, Minamata-na Hito: Minamata-byō o Shien shita Hito-bito no Kiseki [Minamata People: The Traces of the People who Supported Minamata], Miraisha, Tokyo, 2013.

26 Ulrike Wöhr, "From Hiroshima to Fukushima: Gender in Nuclear and Anti-Nuclear Politics" in Hiroshima City University 3/11 Forum, Japan's 3/11 Disaster as Seen From Hiroshima: A Multidisciplinary Approach, pp. 203–233.

27 On these links, see: Oda Makoto, Hiroshima, Tokyo, Kōdansha, 1981; Oda Makoto, The Bomb, translated by D. Hugh Whittaker, Tokyo, Kodansha International, 1990; and Robert Jacobs and Mick Broderick's Global Hibakusha Project, .

28 See also, Vera Mackie, 'Reflections: The Rhythms of Internationalisation in Post-Disaster Japan', in Jeremy Breaden et al., eds, Internationalising Japan: Discourse and Practice, Routledge, Oxford, 2014, pp. 195–206.

29 Ran Zwigenberg, "'The Coming of a Second Sun':The 1956 Atoms for Peace Exhibit in Hiroshima and Japan's Embrace of Nuclear Power", The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus,Vol. 10, Issue 6, No 1, February 6), 2012.

30 On attempts to reconsider the cultural politics of the memories of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, see: Peter Eckersall, "Tour Performance 'Tokyo/ Olympics': Digging the High Times of the 1960s", Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, Issue 23, January 2010. Retrieved on 21 December 2014,

31 Rebecca Solnit, A Paradise in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster, Viking Books, New York, 2010. Solnit visited Japan in 2012 to meet with local communities affected by the 3/11 disaster and give a lecture at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. For Solnit's reflections on the trip see Rebecca Solnit, "Diary", London Review of Books, vol. 34, no. 9–10, May 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2014. For her speech (in Japanese) Rebecca Solnit, "Shinsai ni mukatte, tobira o hiraku" [Facing Disaster, Open the Door], Odawara Rin (trans.), at purasu, no.12, May 2012.

32 "An Interview with Author Rebecca Solnit", in CalHumanities, Searching for Democracy. Retrieved 12 January 2015.

33 See Anne Allison, Precarious Japan, Duke University Press, Durham, 2013.

34 Tawara Machi, Are kara [And then], Imajinsha, Tokyo, 2012, unpaginated. Translation by Vera Mackie.

35 Tawara, Are kara.