“There is a nuclear ghost in Minamisōma.” This is how one resident describes a mysterious experience following the 2011 nuclear fallout in coastal Fukushima. Investigating the nuclear ghost among the graying population, Morimoto encounters radiation’s shapeshifting effects. What happens if state authorities, scientific experts, and the public disagree about the extent and nature of the harm caused by the accident? In one of the first in-depth ethnographic accounts of coastal Fukushima written in English, Nuclear Ghost tells the stories of a diverse group of residents who aspire to live and die well in their now irradiated homes.
Ryo Morimoto is a first-generation college graduate and scholar from Japan and an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University. His scholarly work addresses the planetary impacts of our past and present engagements with nuclear things. His second book project explores the U.S-Japan transnational history of disaster robots and an ethnography of decommissioning robots in coastal Fukushima.
This book talk is co-sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, Department of Anthropology, and East Asia Center.