CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Workshop, "Using the Japan Digital Disasters Archive in the Classroom" (Dec. 6-7, Harvard University)

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December 6-7, 2019
Using the Japan Digital Disasters Archive in the Classroom
A Workshop on Teaching about Japan and about Disasters Digital Research

Application Form:

  • Application Deadline: October 18, 2019 (Friday)
  • Notification Date: October 25, 2019 (Friday)


The Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies invites applications from high school and college faculty as well as librarians in public or private libraries to a two-day workshop on using the innovative Japan Disasters Digital Archive for teaching on contemporary Japan.

The compound disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown of March 11, 2011, was unprecedented both in its magnitude and scope.

  • The earthquake and tsunami took nearly 20,000 lives and left over 2,500 missing.
  • The nuclear meltdown displaced several hundred thousand Fukushima residents from their homes.
  • The nuclear disaster sparked a major reassessment of the safety of nuclear power in Japan and globally. Study of the disaster and its aftermath offers a unique opportunity to engage students in learning about Japan and timely issues of significance far beyond Japan.

The 2011 disaster was also unprecedented in that a vast portion of the record and memory of the disaster was born digital and can only be accessed online. The Japan Disasters Digital Archive (JDA) is a cutting-edge digital collection for the record and memory of this event.

This workshop offers participants the chance to learn of the full range of functions and pedagogical uses of the archive, and to engage a wide range of important issues facing contemporary Japan and the world:

  • Cultural and artistic responses to the disaster
  • Sources of disaster resilient communities
  • Politics and policies of recovery and rebuilding
  • Long-term demographic trends
  • Politics of energy policy
  • Impact of long-term exposure to low but elevated radiation levels

Eligibility and Participation

At the college level, potential participants may include faculty in anthropology and other social sciences, as well as history and other humanities fields. At the high school level, participants will include but are not limited to social studies, STEAM, and Japanese language teachers. We encourage participation by librarians interested in learning more about the archive to advise library patrons, including students, on the use of this powerful digital tool.

Participation Cost

All major costs of workshop attendance are underwritten by a grant from The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) and support from the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University. The program will cover roundtrip economy airfare and/or ground transportation to and from Cambridge. The Reischauer Institute has reserved rooms at a local hotel for participants. Meals will be provided for the duration of the workshop. There are no registration and participation fees.

How to Apply


  • Application Deadline: October 18, 2019 (Friday)
  • Notification Date: October 25, 2019 (Friday)

As part of the application process, participants will be required to submit responses to each of the following questions.

**PLEASE NOTE: Since this application form must be completed in one sitting, please prepare your responses on a separate document in advance of completing the application. When naming your files, please indicate your last and first name.**

  1. Visit the Japan Disasters Digital Archive ( For course instructors, how does the content relate to your teaching assignments, and how will your participation in the workshop contribute to your instruction? For librarians, please address how your participation in the workshop will be of benefit to your role.
  2. What issues relating to the March 11 Disasters interest you? For course instructors, describe a lesson/lecture in which you envision incorporating the Japan Disasters Digital Archive into your teaching? For librarians, please indicate how you would incorporate the JDA in assisting patrons or advancing digital scholarship.
  3. What are your specific expectations for this workshop, and how will you and your institution (e.g. school/university/library) benefit from your participation?

Please note that prior Japan experience and Japanese language knowledge are not workshop requirements.

We welcome all applicants who share an interest in the issues raised by the March 11 Disasters and an interest in the Japan Disasters Digital Archive.

For more details, please visit:
 direct questions to: Katherine Matsuura, Japan Digital Scholarship Librarian, at