I am an Italian researcher in Cultural Studies based in Japan since 2011. I did my post-doc at Sophia University (Tokyo) within the frame of the project “Voices from Tohoku“, one of the largest digital archive of disaster oral narratives. My research on the cultural memory of 3.11 disaster brought me to Miyagi Prefecture where I researched on post-disaster Kataribe-storytellers. Currently I work as an assistant professor at the International Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) at Tohoku University.
My main research interest is the intersection between individual and collective memory. Our memories constitute the essence of who we become. The process of remembering is essential to the creation of individual and collective identities. Following our memory, we decide how to communicate who we are to the outside world. Our stories are the essence of who we are, or better of who we choose to be. Starting from the study of autobiographical literature I studied the connection between memory and identity in Japanese women in Brazil and I became interested in the role that personal memories have for migrants in their host country.
Memory is the drive of our life experience and it becomes particularly relevant in a time of crises, such as natural disasters and other disrupting experiences, when we need to recreate our individual and collective identity. After the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, many communities lost themselves and are still in the process of recovery. Listen to their stories, I became more aware of the importance of storytelling and cultural memory to build aware and resilient communities.