Songs of the 3.11 Triple Disaster in Japan’s Tohoku Region
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How to Cite

Kaneko, N. (2019). Songs of the 3.11 Triple Disaster in Japan’s Tohoku Region. MUSICultures, 46(1), 106 - 127. Retrieved from


The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident that struck Northeast Japan on March 11, 2011 (3.11) prompted an array of local, national, and global musical responses. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this article examines three songs that were newly composed in response to 3.11. I argue that these songs serve as means of optimistic attachments that simultaneously emphasize currently unachievable fantasies of the good life (Berlant 2011), and also foster the Japanese sociocultural aesthetic of gambaru (to persevere, to endure). I demonstrate how these songs serve as catalysts to inspire movements toward recovery and revival for 3.11 survivors.

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