In this essay, I propose that the forced convergence of history and memory in Fukushima resulted in singularizing expressions of experience and memory, thus inducing survivors to focus on the immediate context of the everyday itself rather than the nation and national history, which increasingly were seen as distant and abstract manifestations. The response to the historical event was to individualize experience. Survivors were driven to recall the lives they had once known and lived through at the level of the everyday. They were now forced to endure the unanticipated demands in the new ruined environment, which would require the writing of an entirely different kind of history.
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Harry Harootunian; Reflections from Fukushima: History, Memory, and the Crisis of Contemporaneity. boundary 2 1 August 2015; 42 (3): 23–35. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-2919477
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