About JDGS

The JDGS Project (Japan Disaster Grief Support Project) was organized soon after the Great East Japan Earthquake by “grief” experts in the country to support those bereaved by the disaster.


The loss of a loved one is often painful both emotionally and physically, but when it happens all of a sudden, especially in a disaster, the pain defies words. This loss can be accompanied by shock, fear, and despair.


Immediately after the disaster, many people experience difficulty in expressing sadness due to evacuation and trying to rebuild their lives, and they did not feel like talking about their loss and grief. Therefore, some grief experiences were able to develop into serious problems almost unnoticed.


Grief support after a disaster can go on for years. Through this bereavement project, we tried to find out how to best provide long-term bereavement support after disasters. This will help us to prepare for possible future disasters. By utilizing related materials and bringing together the wisdom and experience of many domestic and foreign experts, we are conducting the following practical activities.


1.  Building a network of grief experts

2.  Collecting, translating and introducing domestic and foreign materials on psychosocial support for those affected by disaster.

3.  Publishing leaflets, manuals, and websites to promote the understanding of grief and how to support victims

4.  Creating a support network and system for those who have lost their loved ones in a disaster and for those with missing family members

5.  Organizing training and workshops for supporters in the affected areas, and also supporting local people who organize workshops

6.  Supporting bereavement groups run by survivors

The JDGS websites

In the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the JDGS project launched two websites: one to support those who have lost loved ones, and the other to provide information on ambiguous loss.


1.”A website to support those who have lost a loved one”

It took six months to create this website after the Great East Japan Earthquake.  The site was updated in December of 2011, and then relaunched in the fall of 2015. Another relaunch is scheduled for 2020. This website contains a variety of information that we feel those who have lost a loved one and those who support them should know.


〇Website URL

〇Site Content

  • About Grief
  •  For the bereaved
  •  For supporters
  •  Mental Health professionals
  •  Informations
  •  About JDGS



2.”Ambiguous loss information website”

This website was created a year and a half after the Great East Japan Earthquake.  It was updated in October of 2012, followed by a renewal in the autumn of 2015. Another renewal was undertaken in 2020. This website contains a range of information about “ambiguous loss” that can occur when a family member is missing, when they are unable to return to their hometown, or when they have a family member with dementia.


〇Website URL

〇Site Content

  • What is ambiguous loss?
  •  Leaving without Goodbye
  •  Goodbye without Leaving
  •  To supporters and professionals
  •  Information
  •  About JDGS
Project member / JDGS Advisor

【Project Member List (in alphabetical order)】

Inoue Vimara University of Health Sciences
Chikako Ishii TELL Counseling Center / Ishii Supervison Office of Family Therapy
Masaya Ito National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry
Keiko Komemushi Kyoto Sangyo University
Kayoko Kurokawa Ryukoku Junior College
Yukihiro Sakaguchi Kwansei Gakuin University
Noriko Setou Fukushima Medical University
Akemi Shirai International University of Health and Welfare
Noriko Murakami Kobe Red Cross Hospital
Satomi Nakajima Musashino University
Satomi Takahashi National Defense Medical College



【Project Advisor List (in alphabetical order)】

[ Domestic ]

Noboru Asukai Medical Corporation Aoyamakai Aoyama Hospital
Yoko Hashimoto Sanno Educational Research Institute
Mizuho Hayashi Sendai City Health and Welfare Center
Masaru Horikoshi National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry
Tadashi Ishii Tohoku University
Tetsuo Kashiwagi
Hiroshi Kato Care Center in Hyogo Prefecture
Yoshiharu Kim National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry
Seiko Konishi Musashino University
Toshiyuki Kubodera Seigakuin University
Mie Kurosawa Trauma and Society
Soichiro Maruyama Kobe Shinwa Women’s University
Koji Minamiyama Seijo University
Sachie Miyabayashi Tohoku Gakuin University
Shinichi Niwa Fukushima Medical University Aizu Medical Center
Satoko Ohara Miyagi Mental Health Welfare Center
Hideki Onishi Saitama Medical University International Medical Center
Tomoko Suzuki National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry
Keiko Takagi Sophia University Grief Care Institute
Ryuhei Tatara Osaka Municipal General Medical Center
Hisako Watanabe
Kunio Yanagita


[ Overseas ]

Pauline Boss University of Minnesota
Colin Murray Parkes St Christopher’s Hospice
Katherine Shear Columbia University



【Cooperation and cooperative organizations】

[ Japan ]

Sendai Grief Care Study Group

Japan DMORT Group


[ UK ]

Cruse Bereavement Care

Contributors to JDGS activities

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, the JDGS project has received a great deal of material about support for the bereaved with warm encouragement from overseas grief researchers. We also receive a lot of help in translating these materials into Japanese to share this information with as many people as possible. I’d like to express our deepest gratitude to those who have contributed.


【JDGS Secretariat】

Noriko Setou    Fukushima Medical University



Miki Itano

Chikako Ishii

Aiko Umezu

Shimizu Micheal Izman

Yuko Tani

Rie Tsuboi

Sayuri Tomimura

Yuko Nakai

Ryoko Noma

Yumiko Hirose

Makiko Komenaga


【Website creator / Administrator】

Noriko Setou, Fukushima Medical University

(Former affiliation: Konan Women’s University)


〇2012 JDGS Website Collaborators

Isamu Saeki Konan Women’s University
Saki Ujike Konan Women’s University
Yumiko Hatakenaka Konan Women’s University


〇2015 JDGS Website Collaborators

Isamu Saeki Konan Women’s University
Marina Kaji Konan Women’s University
Chihiro Fujimoto Konan Women’s University


〇2016 JDGS Website Collaborators

Isamu Saeki Konan Women’s University
Kaeko Imazawa Konan Women’s University
Yukie Sasatani Konan Women’s University


〇2020 JDGS website Collaborators

Kunihiko Nakai r923
Chikako Ishii TELL Counseling/Ishii Supervision Office of Family Therapy
Mikiko Yamaguchi English translation checker
L.G. Lubeck English proofreader


*The website to support those who have lost their loved ones in disasters (FY2020 version) is supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) (Project No. 20K03393).