Architecture after Fukushima: Spaces of Bara Bara, Spaces of Reciprocity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


Images circulating around the world after the Tohoku earthquake in Japan in March 2011 were so extreme and surreal that they would not let our eyes go. Once the news coverage subsided, two types of spaces emerged. First were those in which life continued as usual. Some say that the disaster made the country barabara: Broke it apart. But Japan had long since broken apart geographically, when post-WWII redevelopment projects segregated energy production in the rural areas from consumption and development in urban areas. Nuclear risk was concentrated in aging and poor regions such as Tohoku, and metropolises were protected from a distance. The post-war redevelopment strategy thus gave birth to a monster named Fukushima No.1. In the face of bara-bara, and after entire towns were fenced off against radiation, a second type of space created alternative networks that eliminate regional discrepancies. The second type offers reciprocities between spaces, generations and disciplines and suggests a potential for new solidarity. The role they played in rapid development after the Second World War and the impending energy crises after the nuclear catastrophe make architecture and planning in reconstruction more important than ever. This chapter explores the images and spatial ideas that circulated before and after the Tohoku disaster in order to project an architectural and planning agenda for the future of Japan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMonstrous Geographies
Subtitle of host publicationPlaces and Spaces of the Monstrous
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9789004399433
ISBN (Print)9781848882218
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Architecture
  • Disaster
  • Energy
  • Fukushima
  • Hiroshima
  • Japan
  • Metabolist
  • Nuclear
  • Planning
  • Tohoku

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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