Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien nav lang search
Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
August 4, 2021

New journal article examines post-3.11 plays and cultural trauma

A new journal article by DIJ researcher Barbara Geilhorn studies two post-Fukushima plays by Setoyama Misaki to examine the potential of theatre to shape cultural memory and raise critical awareness. Among the various art works addressing the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Setoyama’s plays are rare in exposing how intricately the roles of victim and perpetrator are entangled. Relating Fukushima to the atomic bombings and the Chernobyl disaster, Setoyama opposes national discourses of a spatially and temporally limited disaster to construct 3.11 as a disaster on a global scale. Setoyama’s plays go far beyond the criticism of nuclear power and touch upon essential problems in Japanese society, such as the lack of an open culture of discussion and the strong suppression of dissenting voices, as the analysis shows. The article is an outcome of Barbara’s research project Local Issues Take Stage – Culture and Community Revitalization. It was published in Japan Forum, online first, and can be accessed here.