Digital Memory and Populism| Remembering and Forgetting Fukushima: Where Citizen Science Meets Populism in Japan

Yasuhito Abe


This article investigates how Japanese citizen science practitioners of the Minna-no Data Site (Collective Database of Citizens’ Radioactivity Measuring Labs) engaged in memory-making practices by using digital media to counter a populist discourse following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Adopting Rose’s discourse analysis I, this study examines various websites and documents related to post-Fukushima citizen science initiatives and illuminates how the data site developed its citizen-science-based memory practices. This research shows how the site provided a specific way of remembering the Fukushima disaster, which pushed against the notion of the Recovery Olympics. Also, it demonstrates that an important element in digital memory practices was using the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to help remember the past and mold the present.


citizen science, populism, digital memory, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Japan

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