S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Institute for Japanese Studies(일본연구소) Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies (SJJS) Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies vol.8 no.1(2022)
Solidarity for Life Viewed through Women’s Practice of Citizen Science in Disaster Areas: The Activities of TARACHINE (NPO Mothers’ Radiation Lab Fukushima)
- OH Eunjeong
- Issue Date
- Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol.8 No.1, pp. 83-109
- disaster vulnerability ; disaster inequality ; the Fukushima nuclear disaster ; radiation measurement ; citizen science ; scale
- In modern societies faced with the possibility of various environmental and technological crises, the restoration of normal life without discrimination based on class, race, or gender following a disaster is just as important as techno-rational disaster responses. While research on “disaster vulnerability” and “disaster inequality” has been fruitful in this regard, there is a demand for studies on “disaster justice” from a gender perspective. In this article, I focus on the marginalization and exclusion of women’s voices from public discourse in Japan following the Fukushima nuclear disaster. As a case study, I examine TARACHINE (NPO Mothers’ Radiation Lab Fukushima), a citizen-science organization in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture. I argue that the organ ization’s radiation-measurement activities transcended mere knowledge production pertaining to risk, coordinating relationships between the various people and things constituting the “world of life”; this was the “work of scale” challenging the framework of policies and institutions. In measuring the invisible radiation permeating everything all around them in their daily lives, the women of TARACHINE created a common sense pertaining to their world of life. As a mechanism for seeking out the possibility of life after disaster, these activities constituted the politics of life, an ethic of solidarity, and an effort to change the relations between human beings, material objects, and institutions.