Sakurajima volcano sits in a bay just 12 km from the city of Kagoshima (pop. 600,000) and 20 km from Taramizu city (pop. 20,000). This volcano is unusual in that, since 2003, it has consistently erupted daily and, recently, several times per day, exposing local populations to high levels of particulate pollution.

This case study allows us to carry out research in an area of frequent ashfall but without the difficulties and unknown timings of working in a volcanic crisis. There is little official intervention so locals protect themselves with self‐procured surgical masks (which are readily available and used by those with mild respiratory illness) and umbrellas. It also seems that many people choose not to protect themselves and this study will investigate reasons behind those decisions.