In Tokyo building on ruins has been its sine qua non ever since the city turned into an enormous urban formation in the seventeenth century: ‘The trauma of urban collapse has been so severe for us in Japan, the inevitability of destruction and rebirth’ (Arate Isozaki 2006 ). But March 2011 the earthquake was 45 times as great as the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake in the Tokyo area, which killed approximately 140.000 people. Even though Japan is considered one of the best-prepared countries in the world for handling major disasters the reality of a large nuclear disaster proved to be far worse than what was planned for. This paper presentation discusses “The Great East Japan Earthquake” of 2011 with particular focus on what happens to social relations and cultural norms, when uncertainty and crisis is something people are living through and living in.
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41st World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology, 2013