Disaster and relief: The 3.11 Tohoku and Fukushima disasters and Japan’s media industries

Hiroko Furukawa, Rayna Denison

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9 Citations (Scopus)
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The earthquake and tsunami which occurred in the Tohoku region of Japan (northern Japan) on 11 March 2011 have taken the lives of more than 15,000 people. The disaster and the accident in the nuclear reactors in Fukushima have left about 330,000 people homeless. The catastrophe has affected not only Japanese politics, economics, society and people’s mentalities, but also its cultural industries. This article attempts to investigate two contemporary issues tracing the effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake (the Tohoku Disaster) on Japan’s media landscape: its impact on Japanese media production and distribution, particularly of its most transnationally famous forms, manga and anime; and how perceptions of ‘soft power’ have fluctuated in this difficult media moment. The research uses a cultural and industrial studies approach based on discourse analysis, focusing on the period immediately following the Tohoku Disaster in order to map significant shifts and unexpected results and responses from within Japan’s cultural industries to the earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima power plant disasters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-241
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number2
Early online date21 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • anime
  • disaster relief
  • Great East Japan Earthquake
  • manga
  • media franchising
  • Tohoku Disaster

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