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 do not feel like talking about their loss and grief. Therefore, some grief experiences are able to develop into serious problems almost unnoticed.


Grief support after a disaster can go on for years. Through this bereavement project, we try 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 peer groups
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. While the Japanese version was updated, the English version will be added in summer 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.



○Website URL

○Site Content

  • What is grief?

  • For those who have lost someone important after a disaster

  • For supporters

  • For mental care professionals

  • Information

  • 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.



Website URL

Site Content

  • What is ambiguous loss?

  • Leaving without Goodbye

  • Goodbye without Leaving

  • For 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


Sendai Grief Care Study Group

Japan DMORT Group


Cruse Bereavement Care

Contributors of the JDGS activity

JDGS Secretariat

Noriko Setou    (Fukushima Medical University)



Ambiguous loss case-study meeting

Main planner / Lecturer

Chikako Ishii    (TELL Counseling/Ishii Supervision Office of Family Therapy)

Kyoko Kurokawa    (Ryukoku University Junior College)

Noriko Setou    (Fukushima Medical University)



Hiroshi Shojima    (Fukushima University)

Satomi Nakajima    (Musashino University)

Tomoko Ogasawara    (Kanazawa University)

Hiromi Tsujii    (National Center for Child Health and Development)

Shizuka Nakamura    (Fukushima University)

Satoshi Aoki    (Taisho University)

Akio Namekawa    (Sendai-city Hospital)

Japanese Association of Family Therapy

Victim Support Center of Fukushima

NPO Sendai Grief Care Study Group

NPO Children’s Grief Support Station

Fukushima Center for Disaster Mental Health

Miyagi Disaster Mental Health Care Center

※In addition, many other people and support organizations that have offered support



Website creator / Administrator

Noriko Setou    (Fukushima Medical University)


【2012 this website collaborators】

Ayaka Nagayama    (Kwansei Gakuin University)

Isamu Saeki    (Konan Women’s University)

Yoko Kaji    (Konan Women’s University)


【2015 this website collaborators】

Isamu Saeki    (Konan Women’s University)

Marina Kaji    (Konan Women’s University)

Chihiro Fujimoto    (Konan Women’s University)

Kaede Matsumoto    (Konan Women’s University)


【2016 this website collaborators】

Isamu Saeki   (Konan Women’s University)

Kaeko Imazawa   (Konan Women’s University)

Yukie Sasaya   (Konan Women’s University)


【2020 this 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)