Lecture Commemorating One Year Anniversary of Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami — 3/8, 5 p.m.

Lecture: Tohoku One Year Later

Thursday, March 8, 5:00 pm at Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies

This event commemorates the anniversary of the March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. We are very excited to have two eminent speakers, Michael Yamashita of the National Geographic magazine, and Ted Bestor, Chair of Anthropology at Harvard and author of Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World. Both have visited northern Japan repeatedly since the disaster.

Instead of just seeing “the one photo” in Michael Yamshita’s slide lecture, you’ll see other, unpublished images of the same scene, giving a sense of the scale of the disaster. Michael Yamashita talked about taking off in a helicopter from near the Fukishima Nuclear Plant a few weeks after the disaster, flying north for 2 1/2 hours and seeing nothing but destruction. He had been to Kobe right after the earthquake there and said that in that disaster, some buildings failed but others withstood the shaking: he said after Tohoku everything was simply swept away.  

Ted Bestor’s work on the Tsujiki Fish market (Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World (University of California Press, 2004) is generally credited with saving that institution. His research on the state of northern Japan after the disaster highlights the devastation of the fishing economy which experienced a double hit: its physical plant wiped out by the earthquake and tsunami, and then its market devastated by fear of nuclear poisoning from water released during the meltdown of the Fukushima Plant.

 For info contact Ann Gertz at X2300

 Caption for image: March 11 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Measuring 9, biggest ever to hit Japan destroying the NE coast line cities and villages for 200 plus miles.  Toshiya Kanaka, 79, doing the clothes he found in his house that was in the background.  He now lives in a refugee center during the day but stays with his wife in a small workshop where he has gathered together all he needs to survive happily making knots with ropes he has recovered from wreckage.  It’s a hobby of which he has many.  A very resourceful man who challenges this to undo him. © Michael Yamashita