The image of a resilient Japan rebounding almost immediately from natural disasters is one that has taken root across the world, but sometimes that image can obfuscate the trauma and the panic of actually living through a disaster.

Roxana Oshiro knows this firsthand. She recalled fleeing her Kobe home on Jan. 17, 1995, and joining the frightened throngs of people in the street as the Great Hanshin Earthquake upended the city and its surrounding area early that morning.

Originally from Peru, she had been living in the city for four years and spoke little Japanese at the time. As Oshiro recounted for attendees at last week’s inaugural Kansai Resilience Forum in Kobe, organized by the Japanese Government in collaboration with IAFOR, she had never experienced anything as terrifying as what happened that morning.