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Day after the Disaster: Bereaved and the role of religion after Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake

[Speaker] Kawashima, Daisuke:1
[Co-author] Urata, Yu:2, Takeda, Masafumi:3
1:Chukyo University (Japan), 2:Osaka University (Japan), 3:Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha Kozenji temple (Japan)

Introduction: Disaster losses are usually sudden and unexpected, and result in a great deal of bereavement. This study examines the role religions play in adaptation after experiencing the bereavement by disaster losses. Particularly, we focused on the meanings of loss and religion among the bereaved by Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. Methods: After field-work and participant observation, we conducted semi-structured interviews with five people including Buddhist monk, NPO organizer, and three bereaved who participated in the Buddhist candle ceremony [Rosoku Hoyo] in Kobe. The narratives were later transcribed and analyzed by the use of Rashomon approach. Results and Discussions: While everyone mentioned the "responsibility of remembering" among the survived, every narrative was multi-voiced and so the nature of relationship between disaster loss and religion may be multifaceted. Further, the ceremony may have provided a scaffold for the meaning reconstruction.
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