Exporting Readiness: Training Experts of Diaster Preparedness Education in Japan

Project Details


Mass natural disasters are at the fore of people’s concerns across the globe. While state and non-state actors around the world expand relief efforts, they also focus on anticipatory activities to mitigate future crises. The UN and the Japanese state often present Japanese disaster preparedness systems as models of ‘best practice’ for other countries, especially Japan’s disaster education (bosai kyoiku) which instils in citizens bodily dispositions to act instinctively in disasters. Yet, little is known about how individuals learn, embody and communicate ‘readiness’ in crises. Tracing Japanese disaster education efforts around the world, this project examines how people teach and learn an embodied preparedness to live the present in anticipation of a catastrophic disaster. Using ethnographic methods, the project consists of two phases. The first phase studied how Japanese disaster risk reduction (DRR) experts learn dispositions of preparedness before exporting it via disaster education projects. Collaboration with a Japanese anthropologist also showed how disaster education overseas relates to domestic efforts. The second phase looks at how this work in Japan is being translated through a disaster education project in a Chilean coastal town.

Other participants:
Dr. Shuhei Kimura, assistant professor, University of Tsukuba (Japan)
Dr. Bernard Manyena, lecturer, University of Manchester (UK)
Ms. Mitsuko Shikada, Programme Manager, SEEDS Asia (Japan)

Project funded by the BA-Leverhulme small grant
Short titleR:HSA Exporting Readiness
Effective start/end date1/10/1630/09/18


  • natural disasters
  • preparedness
  • Japan
  • Chile
  • DDR


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