SOAS University of London

Japan Research Centre

Conflicting and Complementary Demands after a Disaster: The Different Faces of Remembering the JL123 Crash

Meiji Jingu Autumn Lecture 2017 - abstract im
Dr Christopher Hood (Cardiff University)

Date: 4 October 2017Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 4 October 2017Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Lecture


The JL123 plane crash of 12 August 1985 remains the world’s largest single plane crash. 520 of the 524 passengers died in the crash in the mountains of Ueno-mura in central Japan. Over thirty years on, there is much, and seemingly increasing, interest in the crash; there have been two novels, both of which have been dramatized, numerous documentaries and books, and more and more visitors are going to the crash site, Osutaka-no-One, each year. The anniversary of the crash is always covered extensively by the media, in part, it seems, as it fits in to a time of year when remembrance stories are sought after and due to the crash’s association with the Obon festival of the dead. Yet, for the families of victims, the crash also remains personal as their grieving process appears to continue. But, at the same time, they are looking for ways to ensure their loved ones are not forgotten by others. This paper explores the various conflicting and complementary demands surrounding the memorialisation of JL123 and in particular focusses upon the dynamics which saw the museum at one of the memorial sites, Irei-no-Sono, being significantly upgraded in 2015.

Meiji Jingu Autumn Lecture - Chris Hood


Loading the player...

Conflicting and Complementary Demands after a Disaster: The Different Faces of Remembering the JL123 Crash

Speaker Biography

Christopher Hood is a Reader in Japanese Studies at Cardiff University. His research interests revolve around issues relating to transportation in Japan, particularly the shinkansen ('bullet train') and aviation. He is the author of Japan: The Basics (2015), Osutaka: A Chronicle of Loss in the World's Largest Single Plane Crash (2014), Dealing with Disaster in Japan: Responses to the Flight JL123 Crash (2012), Shinkansen: From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan (2006), and Education Reform in Japan: Nakasone's Legacy (2001). He was also the editor of the four volume collection The Politics of Modern Japan (2008), co-editor of Doing Business with the Japanese (2003) and author of the novel Hijacking Japan (2017). He is currently the President of the British Association for Japanese Studies.

Organiser: SOAS Japan Research Centre

Contact email:

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4893/2

Sponsor: Meiji Jingu