|
Add to GoodReads

Japan's March 2011 Disaster and Moral Grit

Our Inescapable In-between

Michael C. Brannigan

Hardback
Paperback
eBook
Japan’s March 11, 2011 triple horror of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown is its worst catastrophe since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Recovery remains an ongoing ordeal. Japan's Responses to the March 2011 Disaster: Our Inescapable In-between uncovers the pivotal role of longstanding cultural worldviews and their impact on responses to this gut-wrenching disaster. Through unpacking the pivotal notion in Japanese ethics of aidagara, or “in-betweenness,” it offers testament to a deep-rooted sense of community. Accounts from survivors, victims’ families, key city officials, and volunteers reveal a remarkable fiber of moral grit and resilience that sustains Japan’s common struggle to rally and carve a future with promise and hope.

Calamities snatch us out of the mundane and throw us into the intensity of the moment. They challenge our moral fiber. Trauma, individual and collective, is the uninvited litmus test of character, personal and social. Ultimately, whether a society rightfully recovers from disaster has to do with its degree of connectedness, the embodied physical, interpersonal, face-to-face engagement we have with each other. As these stories bring to light, along with Michael Brannigan’s extensive research, personal encounters with survivors, and experience as a volunteer in Japan’s stricken areas, our degree of connectedness determines how we in the long run weather the storm, whether the storm is natural, technological, or human. Ultimately, it illustrates that how we respond to and recover
after the storm hinges upon how we are with each other before the storm.
« less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 238Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-9668-7 • Hardback • August 2015 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
978-0-7391-9670-0 • Paperback • March 2017 • $44.99 • (£29.95)
978-0-7391-9669-4 • eBook • August 2015 • $44.99 • (£29.95)
Michael C. Brannigan is the George and Jane Pfaff Endowed Chair in Ethics and Moral Values at the College of Saint Rose.
Chapter 5: Community and Connectedness: Bunzo and Jin
Chapter 7: Fukushima’s Unseen Monster
Conclusion: The Big One
This intensely moving account not only teaches us invaluable lessons regarding our societal ability to respond to disaster but, in providing extraordinary insights into the meaning of vulnerability and suffering, it also demonstrates the absolute necessity of cultivating interpersonal face-to-face connectedness and community in order to heal—a lesson that is particularly important in our individualistic, technology-saturated, digital culture.
S. Kay Toombs, Baylor University


With this engaging book, Brannigan keeps a promise he made to his late Japanese mother—to learn more about the disasters of 3/11 and to share this with others. Brannigan effortlessly interweaves stories from the people he meets with his own rich knowledge of literature, legends, history, and philosophy to develop a philosophy of human's relation with nature. This book is not always optimistic, but always reveals Brannigan’s warmth and genuine concern for the people he encounters.
Brigitte Steger, University of Cambridge


In this pioneering work, Brannigan opens wide the doors on a previously understudied subject in the humanities and social sciences—disaster, trauma, and recovery. A rich and rewarding read for anyone interested in ethics and philosophy, this book is a must for all concerned with disaster preparedness and response, victimhood, grief management, mental health, medical ethics, and public policy, as well as Japanese and cultural studies.
Robert Paul Churchill, Elton Professor of Philosophy, George Washington University


ALSO RECOMMENDED