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An Anthropology of the MachineTokyo's Commuter Train Network$
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Michael Fisch

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226558417

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226558691.001.0001

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Ninety Seconds

Ninety Seconds

(p.206) Six Ninety Seconds
An Anthropology of the Machine

Michael Fisch

University of Chicago Press

In the final chapter the location shifts from Tokyo to Osaka, where the discussion deals with a commuter train derailment in late April 2005 that was triggered by a ninety-second schedule delay and which claimed 106 lives. The chapter tracks the circumstances leading up to the accident and the community response in its aftermath. It is concerned with the critical insights into the nature of technological accidents, risk, and the current state of the relationship between humans and machines that arise from those conditions. In particular, it considers the way in which victims of accident together with the commuter community engage and challenge questions of risk and uncertainty surrounding complicated technological ensembles while envisioning the possibility of a different kind of relationship with machines engendered through a remediated structure of institutional and social governance. Insofar as the chapter deals with the particular circumstances surrounding the train derailment accident, it also explores the way in which the discussion of technological accidents and risk that emerges from that accident informs current critical thinking concerning the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.

Keywords:   Amagasaki, Accident, Risk, Fukushima

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