Disasters and Rebuilding in Japan
Perspectives and Testimonies from the Tri-Co Collection
This exhibition reflects the collaborative efforts of the Bryn Mawr 360º program Perspectives on Sustainability: Narratives of Disasters and Rebuilding in Japan. 360º programs are unique educational experiences designed to expand beyond the boundaries of the classroom and bridge between disciplines and communities. Usually taught in clusters of two or more courses, 360º programs cultivate in-depth and interdisciplinary scholarship, collaborative research, and creative community interaction. For Perspectives on Sustainability, participants enrolled in three course all focused on the history of disaster in Japan. Under the guidance of Bryn Mawr College Professor Carola Hein (Growth and Structures of Cities) and Swarthmore College Professors William Gardner (Japanese Modern Languages and Literatures) and Tomoko Sakomura (Art), the 360º students focused their research on four catastrophic events:
Students considered the historical impact of these disasters through their representation in Japanese art, literature and documentary film, and the effected changes and continuities in urban form and architecture. Additionally, the 360º participants grounded this larger history through primary research in the Tri-College archives and collections. This exhibition is the culmination of the students' joint efforts and explorations. Focusing on the time periods surrounding these four major disasters, the exhibit traces the lasting relationship between the Tri-College community and Japan. In three sections, the exhibit includes thematic panels addressing pertinent scholarship, a timeline of important bridges between Tri-Co and Japan, and a selection of objects from the college collections, all of which testify to the resilience of Japanese culture and the importance of remembrance, reflection, and the extension of communities beyond the boundaries of nation.