My doctoral research illustrates trajectories of the absence of testimony studies on the families of the deceased (izoku) of quake disasters in the Japanese post-war period. This project focuses on the cases of large-scale earthquakes (around magnitude seven or above), which have had social impact to change the way we perceive survivors' psychological trauma and loss. Recent examples include the 1993 Hokkaido quake, the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji quake, the 2004 Niigata quake, the 2011 East Japan quake, the 2016 Kumamoto quake, and the 2018 Osaka and Hokkaido quakes.
I investigate how the non-verbal acts that are part of private rituals compensate for a lack of oral historiography in Japanese society, and thus how corporeal expression results in formulating discourse of cultural silences. In addition, this research will reveal in what way communal events and national movements for revitalization and/or memorials function to prevent the development of testimony studies. Moreover, I attempt to shed light on three different dimensions that coexist in the process of making meanings either by giving testimony, or choosing not to testify, or corporeal acts of witnessing. Finally, this dissertation aims to provide better understanding of a wide scope of forms of testimony so as to provide a template for future disasters, such as the upcoming Nankai Trough earthquake.
Prof.dr. Ernst van Alphen
Dr. Peter Verstraten
September 2015- Present
PhD researcher, Centre for the Arts in Society, Leiden University
October 2014-March 2015
The Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Arts in Society, Leiden University
February 2012-March 2013
Master of Arts in Media Studies
Master’s Program of Film and Photographic Studies, Leiden University
No relevant ancillary activities