Tokyo Metropolitan Government has published a disaster preparedness book in a partially manga format to help get the residents of Japan’s capital ready for “the big one”, the earthquake long conjectured to take place with an epicenter under the city itself.
Tokyo Bousai, which translates as “Tokyo Disaster Prevention”, carries the subtitle “Let’s Get Prepared!” and comes in an eye-catching, appropriately yellow cover.
The 300-page booklet has also been published in English, Chinese and Korean versions, which will be online soon. The authorities began distributing the Japanese version from September 1st.
The book includes:
(1) Simulation of a large earthquake disaster (from earthquake occurrence to evacuation and recovery)
(2) Act now: Disaster prevention action (disaster preparedness measures for right now)
(3) Other disasters and countermeasures (explanation of non-earthquake disasters latent in Tokyo and countermeasures thereof)
(4) “What if” manual (useful knowledge and measures for disaster situations with illustrations)
(5) Important disaster knowledge disaster information wrap-up)
(6) Manga comic: “TOKYO ‘X’ DAY” (an original comic by Kaiji Kawaguchi)
Of course, there is also a cute mascot: Bousai-kun.
Kawaguchi’s 15-page manga can also be read online. Kawaguchi is a veteran mangaka, perhaps best known for The Silent Service, which became an anime series.
There hasn’t been a major quake in the immediate Tokyo region since 1923. Many say that city is long overdue for another.
Manga is often used by official and government bodies to provide information to the public. For example, the Liberal Democratic Party recently issued a comic-style booklet about the controversial state security bills that many people decried as outright propaganda.