Understanding memory transmission in disaster risk reduction practices: A case study from Japan

Fontanella Pisa, Paola, (2023). Understanding memory transmission in disaster risk reduction practices: A case study from Japan. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 100(104112), n/a-n/a

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Fontanella Pisa, Paola
    Title Understanding memory transmission in disaster risk reduction practices: A case study from Japan
    Appearing in International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
    Volume 100
    Issue No. 104112
    Publication Date 2023-11-30
    Place of Publication Amsterdam
    Publisher Elsevier
    Start page n/a
    End page n/a
    Language eng
    Abstract “Disasters strike when they have faded from memory”, is a powerful quote from the Japanese geophysicist Terada Torahiko (1878–1935). This sentence, often used when addressing the need to improve disaster resilience, is a powerful reminder of the role that local memories of past disasters play in ensuring the safety of communities exposed to hazards. Twelve years from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (GEJET) that hit Japan Tohoku’s East Coast, this article aims at understanding how the transmission of local knowledge and experiences of past disasters contributes to increasing community resilience to tsunami risks. Based on field research along the coast of the Japanese prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, this study analyses 11 semi-structured in-depth interviews, to investigate the role of memory transmission in preparing for tsunami risks such as the GEJET. The data was analysed following a narrative approach and through thematic coding with the use of NVivo. Coding structures led to the identification of disaster memory transmission practices in the case study areas and allowed the testing of the relevance of the theoretical framework to community disaster resilience studies. Results are aligned with the theoretical framework and show that disaster memorials are more likely to influence community resilience if passed down using a combination of oral transmission and interpretation together with the use of backup memory archives and physical objects. Such practices are recommended as they allow both the communicability and durability of lessons- learned. Transmitting and maintaining a constant interaction between these two forms of memory is the responsibility of those institutions that oversee the keeping alive of memories, by continuously repurposing and renewing them while engaging with exposed communities.
    UNBIS Thesaurus JAPAN
    Keyword Local knowledge
    Copyright Holder The Author
    Copyright Year 2023
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2023.104112
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    Created: Tue, 05 Dec 2023, 18:39:28 JST by Aarti Basnyat on behalf of UNU EHS