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Masahiro Arimoto

Tohoku University

Breakout Room 1.


"collective efficacy"; "personal narratives"; surveys

How can the human dimensions of disaster impacts be more accurately captured and represented in the analysis, modeling and simulation of disasters?

The inter-related variables or mechanisms emerged from the analysis using systems approach (Overall; macroscopic way of looking at organizations; structures; procedures; etc.; and their context -- involves a concern for the whole rather than the constituent parts) such as the systems dynamics model; network theory etc. We draw on any other crucial factors and items such as preparedness components; water; energy; communication; transportation; and public health/services. Thus creating a rich assessment task using the back-casting activity with scenarios thinking on energy (SDGs 7). Man is a social entity deeply influenced by the geo-economics-politics of the environment in which he lives. In this system; we see a human being as a creature who is both able to adapt himself to the environment and able to evolve in this harmony (Ilgaroglu; 2019). However; humanities researchers view disasters as social or cultural phenomena. …The research methodology begins with historical research; but it is important to establish a system in society in advance to apply the results of case studies to practical applications so that the research does not stop at symptomatic treatment. The objective is primarily to mitigate secondary disasters. From the perspective of the humanities researchers; when disasters are viewed as cultural phenomena; the focus is on human relations research. Our research is focused on the transformation of the community immediately after the disaster and the subsequent changes that occur afterward; rather than on the causes of the disaster (personal communication with Aldrich 2022).

What type of data and supporting research infrastructure would be necessary to enable novel, transdisciplinary approaches to answering these and other human-centered disaster questions?

We need data in the form of observation notes; document analysis and interviews to collect personal narratives. We should tackle the discipline across disciplines. Risk communication is also grounded in various other academic and applied orientations; including an actuarial approach utilizing statistical predictions; a toxicological and epidemiological approach; an engineering approach including probabilistic risk assessments; and cultural and social theories of risk (Renn; 1992). While crisis communication aims to reduce negative outcomes associated with a crisis; risk communication messages are intended to encourage the receiver to engage in proactive behaviors ahead of time to avoid threats and negative consequences (Lachlan et al 2007; Seeger et al.; 2003). Among the social sciences; anthropology views risk as a cultural phenomenon; sociology as societal phenomenon; economics as a decisional phenomenon related to a means of securing wealth or avoiding loss; law as a fault of conduct and a judicable phenomenon; psychology as a behavioral and cognitive phenomenon; linguistics as a concept; history as a story; arts as an emotional phenomenon; religion as an act of faith; and philosophy as a problematic phenomenon (Althaus; 2005).  Few countries have been shaped so much by hazards and disasters. Besides earthquakes and tsunamis; there are typhoons; floods; landslides and volcanic eruptions. Japan has had to learn to live with risks; making it a laboratory for resilient societies. “The concept of resilience is key to what others can learn from Japan;” says Rajib Shaw (Economist 2021). We should clarify so-far Atarimaeno Hinshitsu (taking-for-granted quality).

In what ways can US-Japan collaborations advance these questions in new and important ways?

There is early literature in this field on the factors that affect the resilience of people involved in a selection of natural disasters and utilizes comparisons between countries after droughts; floods; wildfires; hurricanes; cyclones and earthquakes. The countries under review are Australia; Bangladesh; Japan; New Zealand and the US (Gow & Mohay 2013). Japan and the US have totally different contexts. From early literature from Australia on disaster risk reduction; the Japanese case is based on collective efficacy; community participation; empowerment; trust which are culturally practiced as Kyojo; Jishubo; Chonaikai; Machizukuri; and above all Kyozon/ Machizukuri (Paton; 2020). On this basis we adopt mixed methods and we are in the process of interviewing the elderly who were affected by the disaster while their memories are still fresh; using a multidisciplinary approach to their evacuation behavior at the time. Picking up their "real voices" to create a Japanese socio-cultural frame of reference based on collective efficacy (Bandura 1997). However; we would replace this collective efficacy with tsunagari (intensive intersubjectivity). After this workshop; we are planning to collect quantitative and qualitative data of resilience from 1;300 residents using paper surveys. The current idea of surveys is to contain Conjoint Community Resiliency Assessment Measure-28/10 Items (CCRAM28/10) (Leykin; et al. 2013); The Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit (CART) (Cui; et al 2019); and Curiosity; Grit; and Gratitude factors such as appreciation for people and nature. The research study should be conducted in at least two cycles of data collection and analysis.

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