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Effects of Crisis on Personal Value and Life

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Aya Obayashi

on 18 October 2014

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Transcript of Effects of Crisis on Personal Value and Life

Effects of Crisis on Personal Value and Life
1. The Crisis
Brief Information about 11.3. 2011 Japan
2. Theories about Crisis and Trauma
Disaster, Process of Traumatic Experience
3. Voices
: Value and Life Change Caused by the Disaster in Japan
4. People in Crisis, Crises in People
Thank you for participating.
Kiitos Paljon!!
11.3 2011
Nuclear Power Plant
Fukushima dai-ichi
(no.1), and
(no.2) nuclear power plant had serious problems due to series of earthquake

-cooling system broken,
hydrogen explosion

melt down
happened in reactors

-within a radius of 3 km of the power plant, neighbours ordered to
and 10km was asked not to go outside

-super high radiation measured nearby 3rd reactor in dai-ichi:
400 times
of permissible dosage level in 1 year (400mSv=400,000μSv)

severe radioactive contamination
still continuing
times of after shock, including high seismic intensity (4~6+), measured by 11.3. 2013,
in 2 years

-by August 2013,
of deceased,
of lost,
of under evacuation

(lost house and living in relatives' house, apartment built by government, temporary house, etc.)

11.3.(fri) 2011, 14:46
M 9.0
gigantic earthquake happened
-biggest seismic intensity:
4th biggest
quake in the world history

-Tohoku, Hokuriku, Kanto areas damaged
of series of
seaside areas

-After shock: measured
more than

27 times
on the same day,
effected by the first big one
big fire
at a petrochemical complex
started due to tsunami, radioactive contamination etc.

-it was cold day (

~ -2℃
midnight, seaside, Miyagi)
-many people
due to flood and road collapse

- totally

times of
after shock
in March 2011
-Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) saved 19,000 people in 5 days
-6539 of deceased reported in one week

of deceased and
of lost,
of insured,
of under evacuation
reported on 25.3,
in 2 weeks
population in Miyagi (2.3m), Fukushima (2m), Iwate (1.3m) in 2010
picture: wikipedia
- Higashinihon Daishinsai (Tohoku Region Pacific Coast Earthquake), yomiurishinbun houdou shashinshu (yomiuri news publisher, news photos album): Yomiuri-Shinbun publisher, 2011
- Saari, S. 2005. A Bolt from the Blue : Coping with Disasters and Acute Traumas. Jessica Kingsley Publishers
-Nikkei publisher http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNASDG1105L_S3A310C1CR0000/
-weather data http://www.data.jma.go.jp/obd/stats/etrn/index.php?prec_no=34&block_no=47592&year=2011&month=03&day=11&view=p1
-report of dead and evacuation: http://www2.ttcn.ne.jp/honkawa/4362.html
-data of suicide, the Cabinet office: http://www8.cao.go.jp/jisatsutaisaku/toukei/
-data of suicide, Chiseisha: http://chiseisha.org/report/1309_jisatsu/
-support from abroad: http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/press/pr/wakaru/topics/vol73/, http://wikiwiki.jp/h4j/
- comparison of suicide rate: http://www2.ttcn.ne.jp/honkawa/2770.html
-trauma http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/11559_Chapter_1.pdf
-American Psychiatric Association, DSM: http://www.psych.org/
-PTSD criteria (DSM 5): http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/pages/dsm5_criteria_ptsd.asp
-PTSD treatment, National center for PTSD , U.S.: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/newsletters/research-quarterly/V19N3.pdf
-JSDF situation: http://tatevision.blog34.fc2.com/blog-entry-352.html

Support from abroad
countries and areas,
national organizations offered to
help casualties
and rescue parties & professional teams dispatched by
money (more than 700million?)
relief supplies
doctors, specialists
Thank you Very Much!!
news photos by New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/12/world/asia/20110312_japan.html?ref=asia&_r=0#1,
Before - After
What is Trauma?
2 years since the catastrophe
1) Psychological Shock
few hours ~ 24 hours
this reaction is a survival technique
to protect mind
, against sudden incident
too strong perceptions
to store any information (view, smell, sound etc.) and mental image creation are too powerful as well --> 'flashback' can happen afterwards
no emotions
, do not feel it is real
strong memory
during the event, but
less skill of decision making
words from others
in this stage strongly imprinted for the rest of life

2) The Reaction Stage
generally 2-4 days
danger and threatening situation have passed
', and must feel safe
be conscious of
what happened and its impact on own life

to encounter the event
willing to talk
about the experiences
emotional reactions
: crying, sadness, despair, emptiness, anxiety, aggression, blame, self-accusations, embarrassment and guilty, and feelings are uncontrollable
somatic reactions
: vomiting, nausea, muscle pains due to tension, dizziness, headache, strange pain, sleeping difficulties, nightmares, flashback etc.
difficult to endure
but quickly passes
3) The Working through and Processing Stage
weeks ~ years
to step forward
process speed
slows down
, feels like forever
no willing to discuss
the event any longer
(not enough energy to talk) but strong emotion exists, vivid memory and remind it often
want to be alone
, avoid relationship and attachment
difficulties in
memory and attention
, no active thinking
being able to go back to work
everything in one's life is changing
create a future perspective
4) The Reorientation Stage
rest of life
happens gradually, often unnoticed
time is needed, to reach reorientation
traumatic events usually bring about
many changes
in one's life
either think it or not, one can know

Trauma Process
Who Are the Victims?

Psychological shock

The reaction stage

The working through and processing stage
The reorientation stage

” refers only to the
not the reaction

Direct experiencing
psychologically overwhelming

a traumatic event
about traumatic event by close person
, serious
war, combat, terrorist attacks
sexual and physical assault
robbery, being kidnapped, hostage
car accidents,
, fire
, etc
Event Examples
Other Definitions
event or situation
being aware of
the event changes
values and priorities
helplessness, fear

everything changes
DSM-IV-TR, Saari (2005)
Direct (primary) victims
physically or psychologically
directly involved
in the incident
Indirect (secondary) victims
family, loved ones, friends & colleagues deceased or injured
witnessed the incident or its consequences from outside
participated in the rescue, treatment
family and loved ones of the helpers
suffered financial losses due to the incident
evacuated out of the threat without losses
rescue personnel
doctors and nurses
involved in acute medicine
social workers involved in acute work
various crisis workers

mental balance was badly affected by the incident
people who might have been involved in the incident (e.g. those who canceled a fateful journey)
(Saari, 2005)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is one of anxiety disorder caused by traumatic experience.
(DSM-5 Criteria for PTSD)
trauma-related thoughts, reminders
persistent negative belief, emotions
irritable or aggressive behavior
self-destructive or reckless behavior
problems in concentration
sleep disturbance, etc..

first-aid after traumatic experience (
early intervention
group therapy, cognitive therapy, EMDR, psychosocial therapy, psychodynamic approach, art therapy, counselling, etc..
term: 29.11. 2013- 7.12. 2013, 10 responses
breathe deeply & slowly and relax!
(Questionnaire based qualitative investigation)
1) Living Place:
Tokyo - 4
Tokyo region - 3
Fukushima - 1
South area- 1
Finland - 1
Respondents Info
2) Age:
20s - 1
30s - 7
40s - 1
50s - 1

3) Gender:
female - 6
male - 4

4) Occupation:
employed - 6 (sales person, engineer, IT, etc.)
employee - 2
teacher - 1
unemployed - 1
Where were you and how did you experience the earthquake?
I was on a bullet train bound for Fukushima from Tokyo
. I felt a shock as if the train had jumped and
my coffee cup floated
in the air. The
train stopped
urgently and I tried to confirm safety first and to collect information by mobile as much as possible.

I was at a restaurant in Tokyo
to have lunch with a co-worker. When the big shake started, despite hall staff said us to move away from under the chandelier,
we couldn't act due to fear
. After the shake, our dishes came and we ate them, then go back to office.

I was working at a car factory in Tochigi
. We were trained to escape according to emergency manual, since we had huge crane to hoist as heavy as 20t of metallic mold etc., but I could not help following the manual but
just escaping
to outside from the nearest exit. I
just felt fear
and remember
asphalt was waving like jelly
and a closed shutter opened out of the shake.

I had a walk in Ibaraki
. I didn't have ay special fear during the shock because I could assume that this big was related to shakes which had happened since days ago.
I calmly checked info by mobile

I was at a municipality office for a meeting in Saitama
. We were in a squatting position during the shake, because it was
impossible to stand up
. I had never experienced such a long and huge shake. I worried about my daughter working in the same building and also expected it would be a mess in our house.
What is the most strong memory of the day 11.3?
I did not experience the quake
, but when I watched a video that tsunami had swallowed up fields shot by a helicopter,
I could not stop my slumping down and sobbing
. I still feel pain when I remind of it.

News videos of tsunamis
. I watched them with colleagues on the internet 2-3 hours after the shake and just
we were stunned and speechless

Videos of big fires and tsunamis
made me realize that grave incident happened.

It was so cold

Screaming by female co-workers
, quite a mess in our office after the quake, and long queue made by walking people who had
difficulties to go back to home

Huge amount of people
who tried to use train to go home, just waiting outside of Shinjuku-station which had been kept out.

I needed to time to get what actually happened
: it was derailment, mudslide or train crush? It was impressive that train
passengers really calmly followed
evacuation direction by train staff.
What did you do and think in a week after the happening?
Trying to confirm safety of family members
, relatives, friends who were living in suffered area.

I evacuated to a school on foot nearby the stopped train
to stay night.
It was so cold
. Then I finally could go back to home the next night by bus. Broken windows and twisted roads told me
really serious things had happened
. Inside of my home in Fukushima, bookshelves had fallen down, broken pieces of glass were scattered and TV was smashed. Since we had
no electricity and water
, no choice but living with candles for 3 days. After that, electricity recovered and
I brought my stocked water and food to evacuation point
nearby where people who had problems to live at home were staying. Then I evacuated to the next prefecture because of
radioactivity troubles
for a week.

I needed to go to China by work on 14.3
. Since train had stopped, I asked my husband to take me to the airport by car. I must go to China in spite of that mess situation because I had been planning to participate in a conference which was about
natural power generation system
- I had felt necessity of shifts from nuclear power generation to eco-friendly power generation. A Chinese person offered me to stay at an apartment room, worrying about
radioactive contamination
in Japan. I guessed I would not be able to go back to Japan. I also thought that
people in China knew more about dread of radioactivity
they also need special care!
I was full of fear
, reminding of previous big earthquake happened in the west area in 1995. Since I stayed friends' houses and went to work from them for days, I was
. I worried about victims in severe situation, and I was amazed by
system engineer
who had made
donating website
quickly on the other hand.
had changed my life as well. I could help people by showing google map and I also checked my friends' situation and news on

I was little bit shocked
when I saw a lot of lined up "
" comments from abroad on
. I knew the idea of R.I.P, but since many victims
might be still surviving
under the debris and rescue parties had tried to help them, I hoped they should not use the word easily.

I was working for web advertising agency
and I had difficulties that lots of clients withdrew their advertising because of "
". I really needed to try to persuade them not to cancel ads.

I worried about my working place
that had been in disorder, as my family was safe, and then felt
about this idea because huge amount of
people suffered
in severely struck area.
I dreaded
that nuclear power plant had
. It was as if fiction story from manga had come true. I also felt how
I was.

I could not manage my dreadfulness
because of
dark city
due to save electricity and vast amount of
about the catastrophe on TV. I lived alone in Tokyo and I tried to focus on my work

forget my anxiety

I was wondering

how long
we would need to settle situation down, since I had been planing to study in Britain and a graduation ceremony of my university had been canceled.

As many aftershock had occurred
, I discussed with my wife
what we should
do to escape from danger and to see again if we would be separated due to some troubles. I also worried about my family living in Fukushima whom
I could not contact
What did you feel about the disaster in 3 months?
I tended to eat meat quite positively
which I had used to have not so much. My co-workers surprised by my

I could not feel relax at all
as the situation had
not settled down
and series of problems still happened such as saving electricity. However, I just
the reality and attempt to spend daily life.

No special changes
for me, due to
of continual
and problems of nuclear power plant which were broadcasted everyday.
I got angry over "indiscretion mood"
all over Japan. People tended
not to buy
luxury goods or
not to enjoy
something etc, due to
. I believed those who can spend money should contribute to
economic recovery
, otherwise Japan would collapse. About radioactivity problems, I tried to have collect information to decide situation to
avoid improper reaction

I was afraid of severe radioactive contamination
. I worked to send vegetables to Fukushima as a volunteer, yet I keenly felt my

I thought situation
had finally been being
settled down.
Actually my clients who had restrained advertisement were
coming back
and sales seemed quite as high as before the quake.

As my firm's monthly sales dropped down
, I re-recognize huge
impact on

by the devastation.

Since my work place had been
almost destroyed, I went work busily to branch offices from one to one across Japan.
Being able to work
just made me happy anyway.
Since we could not predict what would happen next
, I tried to do what I should do
here and now
. Therefore, while many people went to struck area for volunteer works, I chose to
people where I was, to let them live more comfortably.

I changed my mind

from being an evacuee to supporting

as I had known that there had been a lot of people
much more suffered than I
Since 2 weeks after the quake, I had gone back to Fukushima and started to support others in difficulties. It looked that losing most of things which they had used have quite ordinarily was
completely hopeless
and many of them were at a loss, having no idea what to do.

I realized there were
2 types of people
in evacuation areas, with keyword "
while some people attempted
to stand on their own feet
to re-start somehow, others deeply
depended on support
like forever, not to try to do something on their own. This gap was seen as much
bigger difference
by a year. Whereas some people were
living quite lively with aims
, the opposite type of people still
did not do anything
, even did not care of own child and
counted on supports
, the other hand.
What did you think about the catastrophe in a year?
How has the disaster given you changes on your values and lives?
I cannot remember
what I thought of.

It became "past experience"
and I was spending normal life. Media also restrained to broadcast earthquake not to trigger
PTSD-like symptoms

I was quite worried
and totally
by TEPCO and government's insincere behaviour: they
deceived citizens
, repeatedly saying '
no worries
', despite they knew how danger the radiation level was.

My life in Tokyo
was quite recovered, yet I cannot forget people who had made vegetables showed us
feeling due to
radioactive contamination
when I went back to my parents' place in Fukushima.

It has changed
. I realized that what I had taken important in work and life were
not really valuable
. Even if I had a money, it was
in the situation that there were NO materials, electricity and transportation. Which means working too hard to get money is also in vain for me, and I have changed my mind to live more
, following my heart.
I have changed my job
which is more
socially contributory
, out of my change. I have given up to live in Tokyo and
to more relaxing and nature surrounded rural place, nevertheless it is little inconvenience.

Now I am interested in working in abroad
, which I did not consider before, because my work needs satisfactory infrastructure. Changes in life is that I have become
often for helping victims. And I often consider safety of place where I am -
checking fire alarm and emergency exit

I do not think I have had changes
, but now I usually try to be ready for disasters.
Since I had a surgery before the disaster, the series of big incidents have provided me value changes
. I have realized that I could not predict when and where I would die and I might be dead quite easily as well. I have
lost my materialistic desire
as I cannot escape with those goods - actually, I came to Finland with little amount of belongings which I could manage with my both hands. Additionally, I have been trying to do what I want to and more focusing on
developing relationship
with more important people. I also tend to spend precious time consciously with family and friends,
not to regret
even if it would become the last meeting. About life change, I came to Finland due to
risk management
in a way. If the disaster had not happened, I might have not been here.

To think about our children's health
, I and my wife might
not have choice but avoiding vegetables made in Fukushima
, I was born there, though. We have concluded that we should
help ourselves
on our own, not to carelessly accept public announcement without proper evidence, they saying all food is safe. Our life in Tokyo completely recovered to its former. I heard that
radioactivity-removing operation
had finally started in my home town in Fukushima, it's been more than
2 years
since the accident happened.

Before the disaster, I was really positive and highly motivated
. However, these
enthusiasm has gone away
since the earthquake. I don't know why and how I lost them. I have been being recovered, of course, but I
cannot remember
even what had made me such motivated in the past. Regarding change in life, I have become
when natural disaster happens, searching information where I should send charity.
I have started to think what if putting a solar power system on our house
to aiming life which does not rely on electricity made by nuclear. And I also have been tying to
save electricity
. I had had interests on anti-nuclear, but now I have stronger wishes to
in my research that how we can
remove nuclear
power generation from our lives.

My thoughts about dependence have changed
. Dependence brings negative income - the nation, firms, schools etc.
must not be passive
but be active to help on their own. Mobile phone, TV, foods.. almost everything around us are given: we are really counting on them. When the economy develops more, our lives become
more convenient
as well. On the other hand, it means we do not think or try harder to survive, and
we cannot do anything
when we lost them in the end. We should live, asking ourselves anytime what
we should do
and how we can do.

My life style has changed to more independent way.
Water, foods and goods are stored
and I have much more chance to discuss
preparation for disaster
with my family.

In what way Japan(ese) has changed through the disaster,
in your opinion?
The day the world changed
'it is part of me.'
I think there are no special changes
, as Japan has experienced big natural disaster many times - it is
incident in a way. Just it seems that number of
people have increased.

It has changed, I think
. Since the devastation, 'tense mood' in Japanese society has
. People might live with
way of thoughts which suit their personal nature rather than competitive, working hard, etc.

I guess now we are more proud of our nationality
, since our
during the grave situation was praised by the world. And it looks
more interests
on disaster in nation or in the world.
I don't know
, it is difficult to define.

To think about competitive situation in society lead by IT innovation
and its economic bubble in 2000s, such 'win-dog and lose-dog' atmosphere seemed to have decreased and
traditional virtue and values
from the old days such as support, cooperation, harmony among people and modesty have come back. The term "
" is often mentioned and people tend to spend longer time with family and friends. However, this situation might be also
changing to former state

I think Japanese tends to be kind
, but it seems
pretending to be kind
to hide some negative feelings, in my view point. Social atmosphere forces people to kind to others due to abnormal situation made by the catastrophe. Some might be suffered by this fake-kindness and I also feel embarrassing and

It looks people have become eagerer to relate with others
. After the devastation, people who
hope to have

and people who decided to
have increased, in fact.
People used to say "bond" or "hang on" often
, it was like a big movement, but it has disappeared quite soon. I think this is really 'Japanese', in a way.

People have become kind to others
and more sensitive to earthquake and disaster.

Young people might have changed
, as my daughter married due to the disaster. It is as if "since I cannot predict what will happen,
I want live honestly and spontaneously
". They can think with this way because they had lived in already economically-declined society before the earthquake, and therefore they still do not have capitalistic desire now.
On the other hand, who have not changed are
. In particular, prime minister is offering to
export nuclear power plant

India and Turkey, quite irresponsible behaviour even after the catastrophe,
without learning
There are many
suddenly, unpredictable, unavoidable, uncontrollable

incidents in our lives
We often feel '
' '
' and "
everything changes
" in daily life
They are quite suffering and painful
More or less, bigger or smaller,
human life is series of crises
This is nature, this is what life is

Your existence is the proof -
you have survived many crises
, since you were a baby
We cannot avoid
these crises, cannot change the past -
how we get over
is the most important
Changing is Surviving
. If you are changeable, you are strong
-> sometimes
, but certainly in many ways
Positive changes -
feeling, awareness, knowledge, skill, problem solving, experience, new relationship, new start...

It is
your choice
- being wallowed in grief and pity or standing up and going forward, accepting change
Everything is
Up to You
- you can
create your life
and develop
through numerous crises
, counting on you
You can be also victims!
& Hyvää joulua!
Aya Obayashi
It is me
" and "
it is part of me
" in the end
after a week..
after a week..
in 3 months...
in 3 months...
changes in you?
changes in you?
changes in Japan?
changes in Japan?
Full transcript