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Keywords:

  • earthquakes;
  • disaster preparedness;
  • milieu;
  • consciousness;
  • Japan

SUMMARY

Written three months before the Tohoku earthquake of 2011, this article looks at disaster preparedness work in Japan. These parings develop what I call the “un-thought of preparedness” which amounts to a general shift in the premise of preparedness in Japan from uncertainty (what if it strikes?) to poise (even if it strikes!). In the postscript, I provide a short ethnographic exploration of the work of mourning in the months following the 2011 earthquake–tsunami disaster.