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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Great East Japan Earthquake

Research focus April 2011 - September 2014

More than a year and a half after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the after-effects of 3.11 are still felt and will continue to do so for years, if not decades. Our means to react to the catastrophe in a meaningful way are limited. However, we are trying to do what academics can do best: study the impact of the disaster from the perspective of our respective disciplines. Within the confines of our two research focuses, “Challenges of Demographic Change” and “Happiness in Japan”, we have set up several new projects involving fieldwork in Tōhoku about volunteering, quantitative examinations of trust as well as an analysis of literary reactions to the disaster, among others.

The majority of our new projects are related, in one way or another, to the existing research foci. The significance of a major catastrophe for happiness studies is patently obvious. However, given that Tohoku is aging rapidly and senior citizens were highly overrepresented among the victims, and considering the fact that many reactions to the disaster reflect generational perspectives, connections with demographic change are also apparent.

Please contact us if you would like to learn more or collaborate with us.

Completed Projects

Consumption and economic sustainability after March 11

Happiness in Japan before and after 3/11: An economic approach

Negotiating Nuclear Disaster: Cultural Representations of “Fukushima”

Older people’s housing situation and future prospects in the Tōhoku region

Parents against Radiation. A case study

Political participation and well-being: A case study of political activists after 3/11

The debate on nuclear energy policy after March 11

Trust and Subjective Well-being after 3/11 – results of a DIJ-survey

Volunteering in Tōhoku


March 18, 2015
DIJ Social Science Study Group
The Art of Living– Disaster Experience and Emotions in Artist`s Biographies in Contemporary Japan

June 10, 2014
DIJ Business & Economics Study Group
The Physical and Social Determinants of Mortality in the 3.11 Tsunami

May 21, 2014
DIJ Business & Economics Study Group
A Report on Life and Health in Japan after the Great East Japan Earthquake

May 14, 2014
DIJ Social Science Study Group
The Japanese Anti-Nuclear Movement – Mobilization Processes After Fukushima

March 19, 2014
DIJ Forum
Citizen Radiation Measurement Stations after 3.11: Food Safety Knowledge Gaps and the Problem of “Citizen” in Citizen Science

February 13, 2014
DIJ Social Science Study Group
The Impact of 3-11 on Japanese Public Opinion toward Energy

December 10, 2013
DIJ History & Humanities Study Group
Introducing Nuclear Power – The Struggle of Japan`s Physicists

September 3, 2013
DIJ History & Humanities Study Group
Prospects of the Coastal Fishery in Northern Pacific Tōhoku in the Aftermath of 3.11

July 9, 2013
DIJ Forum
What's Wrong With Japan? ...It's the Politics!

June 13, 2013
DIJ Forum
Training Women for Disasters: Gender, "Crisis Management (Kiki Kanri)" and Post-Fukushima Nationalism in Japan

April 11, 2013
DIJ Forum
Japanese Companies Respond to the Unforeseen: The 3/11 Disaster, Population Ageing, and Environmentalism

February 14, 2013
DIJ Forum
The Cost of NIMBY: Policy Images, Foreign Blueprints and Civil Society’s Assault on Japan’s Post-Fukushima Energy Policy

January 17, 2013
DIJ Forum
Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery

October 18, 2012
DIJ Forum
Sustainable Development, Frontier of Business, and its Application to Tohoku

October 4, 2012
DIJ History & Humanities Study Group
Negotiating Nuclear Disaster - Japanese Theater after 3.11

April 5 - November 30, 0001
DIJ Forum
Happiness in Japan before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake

March 8 - November 30, 0001
DIJ Forum
The Japanese Economy one Year after Fukushima

November 2, 2011
DIJ Forum
The Role of Giving and Volunteering for Post-Disaster Reconstruction

July 11, 2011
DIJ History & Humanities Study Group
Earthquakes and Art ― The Great Kantō Earthquake in the Work of Takehi sa Yumeji


Yuki Abe (until March 2013)
Political Science

Florian Coulmas Florian Coulmas (until October 2016)
Director (2004 - 2014), Director

Maren Godzik Maren Godzik (until March 2013)
Japanology, Sociology

Phoebe Stella Holdgrün Phoebe Stella Holdgrün (until October 2017)
Deputy Director, Japanese Studies, Political Science

Carola Hommerich Carola Hommerich (until August 2015)

Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt (until September 2013)
Literature and Media

Susanne Klien Susanne Klien (until August 2013)
Modern Japanese Studies, Cultural Anthropology

Florian Kohlbacher Florian Kohlbacher (until August 2014)
Business and Economics

Tim Tiefenbach Tim Tiefenbach (until December 2016)
Economics and Ethics