Accepted paper:

Mapping Minamata on Kyushu island: on the geopolitical perspective and the tracing-layer movements


Akira Nishimura (The Univ. of Tokyo)

Paper short abstract:

This paper aims to situate Minamata area and Minamata disease in the island-wide perspective on Kyushu taking into consideration other public hazard issues, and to see the interplay among them focusing upon the social actions of describing phenomena and patient support.

Paper long abstract:

From a bit wider perspective than Minamata area, we could find several public health hazard issues like Toroku arsenic disease in Miyazaki, Yushō disease by PCBs and PCDFs contaminated oil in Fukuoka and Nagasaki, Leprosy sanatoria in Kumamoto and Kagoshima, the CO poisoning caused by the accidental explosion at the Miike coal mine in Fukuoka, and the Atomic Bomb disease in Nagasaki as well as Minamata disease in Amakusa and Izumi in Kagoshima. This paper, at first, refers to these issues in the geopolitical context of Kyushu island in Japan's modernization and industrialization. Then, it tries to see the cross-interaction, with the concept of "Tracing Layers," among the social movements in each area focusing upon the documenting activities in literally and scholarly works and the supports of the patient. Through the discussion, we could gain a visualization perspective on the layers in Minamata disease issue, and a basic framework to examine the merits and demerits of the problem oriented ethnography.

panel P014
The day after: illness experiences of Minamata disease and some possibilities of multi-layered ethnography (CLOSED - 4)