Departmental Bulletin Paper The Extraordinary Role of Schools in the Disaster: Caused by the Great Earthquake and Tsunami on 3/11 2011

TABATA, Taketo

 This paper aims at the description of the extraordinary role of Japanese schools in the disaster cased by the great earthquake and tsunami on 3/11 2011. The description is based on quantitative and qualitative data, i.e. statistics, documents written by suffered teachers and my hearing research. First the general data on the earthquake, tsunami and death toll is shown. Those express the scale and quality of the disaster 3/11 and the important role of Japanese schools in the huge disaster. Secondly the type of the evacuation from the tsunami is divided and some failed/succeeded cases are reported. Taken into consideration the documents and interview data from evacuees,the reasonable simple conclusion is led, the more awareness a person has on the crisis at hand and the more prepared one has against disasters, the higher his chances of survival are. Thirdly it is shown that schools in an inland area played an important role of the living shelter and that the role for evacuees came into conflict with the role of the school for children. Fourthly various serious hardships of children are reported through the statistics of orphans and 3 misery cases. Teachers have been taking care of the children. From many documents and my interview and observation we can point out two helpful ways in caring by teachers: 1) medical-oriented and 2) educational/cultural-oriented care. The latter is realized by: a) being with friends at school, b) a home-like and safe atmosphere at school, c) a rhythmic and regular timetable at school and d) annual school events.

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