3) Culture of the Fukushima Disasters--presentation by Dr. Rachel DiNitto
From Michael Foster
The Culture of the Fukushima Disasters: Japanese Film, Literature, Manga, and Photography after 3.11
These presentations and roundtable discussion explore cultural texts that have emerged in the wake of the triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear catastrophe that hit northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011.
"Manga, Radiation, and Politics after 3/1"
Rachel DiNitto, Professor of modern and contemporary Japanese literary and cultural studies, University of Oregon
This talk introduces a variety of manga produced after the 2011 disaster, ranging from the mainstream to the underground, and examines them for their commentary on the nuclear accident. I begin with a comparison of Kariya Tetsu’s Oishinbo (2014) and Tatsuta Kazuto’s Ichi-F: A Worker’s Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (2013-15). The former set off a national controversy when the depiction of a bloody nose was taken as harmful to the local communities in Fukushima. By contrast, Ichi-F claims to depict the reality of the clean-up as it defends the plant owners and downplays the dangers of radiation. From there, I move to the award-winning manga of Shiriagari Kotobuki (2011-2015) and trace the anti-nuclear message as it shifts to one of despair over the course of his post-disaster manga collections. I end with Imai Arata’s F (2015), an edgy, anti-nuclear manga that employs the wars in Syria and Iraq to critique the Japanese government. The talk shows how different manga artists use a variety of styles to represent the events—from detailed, text- heavy images emphasizing facts to more artistic, minimalist designs. I investigate how the visual medium of manga works to portray the effects of the disaster, its history, politicality, and futurity.
Rachel DiNitto is a Professor of modern and con-
temporary Japanese literary and cultural studies
at University of Oregon. Her research focuses on the cultural responses to the triple disaster of March 11, 2011 in Japan, with an emphasis on nuclear and environmental issues. In addition to her book, Fukushima Fiction: The Literary Landscape of Japan’s Triple Disaster (University of Hawaii Press, 2019), she has published on the film and manga of this disaster and postwar Japan. She is working on a new edited volume: Eco-Disasters in Japanese Cinema for the AAS/Columbia UP series Asia Shorts.