Voicing the Invisible: Resilience, Adaptation, and Resistance in the Narratives of the Fukushima Plaintiffs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Ten years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, as of March 2021, there were about 35,000 nuclear evacuees still scattered across Japan. These included “vulnerable” groups, namely mothers who self-evacuated with their children (boshi hinansha), older adults, and people with disabilities. As nuclear evacuees who moved far away from their homes, these people faced financial vulnerability, social isolation, discrimination, and stigma. This chapter emerges from qualitative fieldwork – interviews and participant observation – with 30 of these individuals who eventually became involved as plaintiffs in collective civil lawsuits against TEPCO and the Japanese government, referred to here as “Fukushima litigation.” The chapter engages with the concept of procedural justice and asks in particular what is needed to ensure new, more inclusive modes of participation that can give “voice” to marginalized groups in the aftermath of an environmental disaster. It offers an ethnographic investigation of how these vulnerable individuals who moved away from the irradiated zones have continued to cope with uncertainty over the past decade; it explores how these people have made sense of conflicting discourses around risk after the nuclear disaster; and it shows how they have ultimately enacted therapeutic potential and politics of recovery in the juridical settings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJapan’s Triple Disaster
Subtitle of host publicationPursuing Justice after the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Fukushima Nuclear Accident
ISBN (Electronic)9781003340737
ISBN (Print)9781032375465
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Contemporary Japan Series

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Japan
  • Disaster
  • 3.11
  • Fukushima
  • Justice
  • Legal Studies
  • Resilience
  • Resistance
  • Ethnography
  • Disaster studies
  • Gender studies
  • Anthropology
  • Legal Anthropology


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