Is it possible to refer to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and nuclear incident in everyday conversation, preferably without using the words earthquake or tsunami or nuclear incident?

For example, when I was told a museum in Sendai wasn't open, and I wasn't sure whether it was because of the earthquake or just because it's closed on a Tuesday, should I have said "大震災 / 東日本大震災 から?"※, or could I have used something that doesn't directly mention 震災?

The reason I'm trying to do so is that even in English, people often avoid referring to the type of disaster when referring to it (eg "Bali", "seven seven"), and I've heard that the Japanese language tends to be more indirect than English.

※ This may not be a correct use of the word から, but that's not relevant to the question.

  • 1
    Hmm how about "3.11(さんいちいち)のせいで?" But I'd just say "震災で?" (What does 米 mean btw?)
    – user1016
    Apr 9, 2012 at 4:10
  • 4
    Maybe it was supposed to be ※? I've never seen the 米 kanji used for this.
    – Hyperworm
    Apr 9, 2012 at 4:14
  • @Hyperworm I was googling for "rice symbol". Sorry.
    – Golden Cuy
    Apr 9, 2012 at 4:35

1 Answer 1


It is difficult to refer to the earthquake without mentioning it. If you don't want to mention it, you can think of other ways to ask:

'Is it regular holiday?'

'Why is it closed?'

'When will it be open?'

But I don't see any reason to avoid the word.

  • Is my reasoning in the third paragraph flawed?
    – Golden Cuy
    Apr 9, 2012 at 7:32
  • 1
    As well as Japanese is concerned, you don't need to be indirect for the type of the disaster.
    – user458
    Apr 9, 2012 at 8:06

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