Changing Narratives of Survivors of the 2014 Hiroshima Landslide
Rie Kawasaki*, and Atsushi Hikita**
*Department of Comprehensive Human Life Skills, Hijiyama Junior College
4-1-1 Ushitashinmachi, Higashiku, Hiroshima, Hiroshima 732-8509, Japan
**Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan
The purpose of this study is to understand the fluidity of survivors’ narratives and to clarify the changes such narratives undergo after time has elapsed. Nineteen survivors of the landslide disaster that occurred on August 20, 2014 in Hiroshima City were interviewed twice-three years after the disaster and five years after the disaster-and the changes in the content of their narratives were analyzed. In addition, by analyzing the titles of newspaper articles that were published within one month of the disaster, the characteristics of narrative transformation were quantitatively identified. The narratives of disaster victims that were once accepted as “dominant stories” become “personalized” as “alternative stories” with the elapse of time, even though they are told by the same person. Comparisons of two interviews conducted at different times show that the word “evacuation” undergoes a significant change in context over time elapse, while the word “disaster” appears in a new context in the fifth-year interview. While social or community groups are the bearers of “socialized” memories, individuals are the bearers of “personalized” memories which are expected to continue to change as time elapses. It is necessary to examine what should be shared in order to utilize disaster victims’ memories to prevent and mitigate disasters, and how to such memories should be shared.
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