Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 April 2012
One year has passed since the earthquake and tsunami in Tōhoku. How should we as scholars approach, think about, and teach about the disaster? In generations hence, will 2011 be treated as a historical turning point on a par with 1945? Will it appear more significant than the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923, despite the far greater loss of life in that event? We have a long process of analysis and contextualization ahead before the traumatic events of March 2011 have sedimented into history. Meanwhile, the nuclear disaster continues. When the Japanese government announced in December that complete decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors would take forty years, it became clear that even in the most optimistic scenario the world would be living with this disaster for a long time to come.