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Upon Returning Home

Pamela Runestad, a PhD candidate in medical anthropology at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, is back in the US from Japan and continues her account about post-earthquake Japan.

This is the first time I’ve been so acutely aware that I’ve left a collective consciousness behind. I’m usually more focused on the re-integration part. But this time, I feel like I’m supposed to be part of what is happening in Japan and suddenly, I’m not. Reading emails and blogs by Japanese friends, and checking the NHK website for Japanese news feels different now that I am not in Japan––much in the way that reading about news in the U.S. feels distant when I’m not here. I feel the physical disconnect. It’s a reminder that being embedded in a media matrix is not the same as being embedded in a social matrix.

To read her previous accounts from Japan, go to the Triangle Center for Japanese Studies and check out Part One, Part Two and Part Three of her “Inside Looking Out” series.


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