Call for Papers for the 2013 International Conference on Japanese Studies

“The 3.11 Disaster of Japan: Vulnerability, Loss, and Social Transformation”
25 and 26 January 2013

We are pleased to announce the 13th International Conference on Japanese Studies of the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, from 25 to 26 January 2013. The theme this year is “The 3.11 Disaster of Japan: Vulnerability, Loss, and Social Transformation.” The conference aims to provide a lively forum for academics, scholars, educators, and professionals who are interested on how Japan handles disaster and enable the exchange of new and various approaches and perspectives in an informal interdisciplinary setting.  Furthermore, the conference wishes to highlight learnings which can be applicable within the Philippine context. 
With climate change, the intensity and frequency of natural disasters has been increasing in the world. Though its correlation to change in the natural environment is not straightforwardly seen, the recent 3.11 disaster, the Tohoku Earthquake and earthquake-induced disasters, became landmarks that show human beings are now facing the enormous power of environmental change, highlighting the vulnerabilities of a first world country such as Japan.  Disasters occur at the interface of environment, society and technology. They are not only biophysical events, but they are also inevitably situated in particular social and cultural contexts. The important issues in disasters are often the issues of societies, and the view that relocates disasters from events to processes inexorably entails concerns about cultures. This conference aims to approach the theme with the perspective of the socio-cultural framework in order to understand not only the disaster itself but on how Japanese society coped in where it occurred. It will be composed of three parts: 1) Risk and Vulnerability which deals with pre-existing issues of Japanese society, 2) Displacement and Loss which includes the problem of the loss of connectedness and the consequent loss of self, and 3) Recovery and Resilience which addresses post-disaster change and possible future of Japanese society.

We are now accepting abstracts (300-500 words) for papers looking at multi-disciplinary approaches towards disaster research in Japan.  We particularly encourage critical studies in the following areas:

Approaches in disaster research
Disaster in Japanese history
Risk and vulnerability of Japanese society
Mitigation, preparedness and responses
Post-disaster care
Media, education and disaster
Disaster and gender 
Disaster and religions
Disaster in globalization
Civil society and "disaster volunteers"  
Recovery and the creation of post-disaster society

Other related topics are also welcome. Please email abstracts to on or before 19 October 2012. All submissions will be refereed.

Venue:  Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines
Dates: 25 and 26 January 2013
Fees: waived

We very much hope to see you there.   

Conference Conveners:

Karl Ian Cheng Chua, Ph.D.
Hiroko Nagai, Ph.D.
Japanese Studies Program
Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines

Antonio G.M. La Vina, LLM, JSD
Ateneo School of Government, Philippines

This conference is supported by the Japan Foundation in cooperation with the Ateneo School of Government.
If you require any further information, please email: