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“Godzilla, KonMari, Hula Girls: Building Resilience in Post-3.11 Japan and Beyond," by Dr. Mire Koikari, Professor of Women's Studies, UH Mānoa
|Title:||“Godzilla, KonMari, Hula Girls: Building Resilience in Post-3.11 Japan and Beyond," by Dr. Mire Koikari, Professor of Women's Studies, UH Mānoa|
|Date Issued:||10 Feb 2021|
|Abstract:||The 2011 Great East Japan Disaster – a compound catastrophe of earthquake, tsunami, and
nuclear meltdown that began on March 11, 2011 – ushered in a new era of cultural production in
Japan, where discussions on safety and security, risk and vulnerability, and recovery and
reconstruction proliferated on an unprecedented scale. Against the backdrop of pervasive
precarity, resilience-building became a national doctrine, mobilizing cultural icons such as
Godzilla, KonMari, and Hula Girls and disseminating new idioms and practices of self help (jijo)
and mutual help (kyōjo). This talk analyzes how this post-disaster mobilization provided an
opportunity for Japan to articulate a new national vision in which militarism, neoliberalism, and
neoconservatism played salient roles. Specifically the talk focuses on the popularization of Hula
Girls after 3.11, where Hawaiʻi and its simulacrum Spa Resort Hawaiians in Fukushima were
enlisted to spread the spirit of Aloha, revitalize the weakened nation, and strengthen regional
bonds (kizuna) in the Pacific. The dynamics thus activated by 3.11 continue today, as the
COVID-19 crisis has given rise to KizunAloha, a bi-national project involving Japan and Hawaiʻi
whose aim is to enhance regional resilience in the face of the global pandemic.
|Description:||Webinar talk flyer|
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