The Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 destroyed the homes, livelihoods and communities of many elderly people. Some of the most vulnerable survivors spent up to five years in temporary shelters before settling into publicly subsidized apartments or dispersing into the general population. Public scrutiny of the post-earthquake recovery drew attention to the challenges of community generation and the loneliness, isolation and death experienced by elderly earthquake victims.
Bringing together quantitative and qualitative analysis of media discourse, public policy and ethnographic fieldwork, this book examines the long-term effects of the earthquake for elderly residents of temporary shelters and public reconstruction housing. The first study to utilize NVivo qualitative research software in a Japanese research context, this is an original contribution to natural disaster literature as well as health and welfare policy in societies that, like Japan, are undergoing rapid urbanization and population aging.