Kōbe 1995: Crisis, volunteering, and active citizenship in Japan

Simon Avenell*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper analyzes the activities of volunteer groups mobilized to support vulnerable communities such as foreigners and ethnic minorities after the Kobe earthquake. Apart from trying to give a human face to Kobe volunteers, groups, and networks, I am interested in the historical significance of this volunteering beyond the much-discussed, yet nonetheless important, legislative and broader perceptional changes. What did volunteers learn through their interactions with vulnerable communities and in what ways was their consciousness as volunteers, as activists, and as citizens transformed (if at all)? Looking backward, how is this volunteering to be positioned in the wider history of volunteering and civic activism in postwar Japan and, looking forward, what were the legacies of this crisis beyond greater social legitimacy and a heightened preparedness for future disasters?
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDisasters and Social Crisis in Contemporary Japan
    Subtitle of host publicationPolitical, Religious, and Sociocultural Responses
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages24
    ISBN (Electronic)9781137521323
    ISBN (Print)9781137521316
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


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