This earthquake destroyed Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka. TIL a massive earthquake struck Japan in 1923, causing a fire tornado that incinerated 38,000 people in 15 minutes and was so hot, people's feet were melted to the ground and they could not run away.  In some towns, even police stations into which Korean people had escaped were attacked by mobs, whereas in other neighbourhoods, residents took steps to protect them. "Price shocks in regional markets: Japan's Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923. 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The 1923 Great KantÅ earthquake caused widespread destruction in Chiba Prefecture, most notably in the southernmost part of the BÅsÅ Peninsula, where 1,300 residents were killed. It is one of the most devastating natural disasters that mankind has ever seen, causing over 140,000 people to â¦ Attracting entrepreneurs, fugitives, traders, spies and drifters from every corner of the world, the port rose “like a mirage in the desert,” wrote one Japanese novelist. The earthquake struck at 11:58:44 am JST (2:58:44 UTC) on Saturday, September 1, 1923.It lasted between 4 and 10 minutes. The date was Sept. 1, 1923, and the event was the Great Kanto Earthquake, the worst calamity in Japanâs history. Now, Researchers Found Another, Renewing Hope for the Species, Meet Joseph Rainey, the First Black Congressman, The State of American Craft Has Never Been Stronger. The flames closed in from all directions, and then, at 4 p.m., a 300-foot-tall “fire tornado” blazed across the area. Founded as Japan’s first “Foreign Settlement” in 1859, five years after U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry forced the shogun to open Japan to the West, Yokohama had grown into a cosmopolitan city of half a million. Traditional figures offered words of solace: Crown Prince Hirohito 88 years ago; his son, Emperor Akihito, in 2011.  A monument commemorating this was built in 1993 in Wenzhou. Sept. 1, 1923, Tokyo, Japan â Following an earthquake and tsunami, a devastating fire tornado swept through Tokyo. Or, as philosopher and social critic Fukasaku Yasubumi declared at the time: “God cracked down a great hammer” on the Japanese nation.  There were 57 aftershocks. The Great KantÅ earthquake (é¢æ±å¤§å°é , KantÅ dai-jishin) struck the KantÅ Plain on the main Japanese island of HonshÅ« at 11:58:44 JST (02:58:44 UTC) on Saturday, September 1, 1923. ", Hunter, Janet. “Over everything had settled a thick white dust,” he remembered years later, “and through the yellow fog of dust, still in the air, a copper-coloured sun shone upon this silent havoc in sickly reality.” Fanned by high winds, fires from overturned cookstoves and ruptured gas mains spread. Fire tornadoes during earthquake? Ryang, Sonia. Fifteen minutes later, they had spread to 136. Tokyo, Great Kanto earthquake damage, 1923, illustrating the origins and extent of fire damage. “An overwhelming disaster has overtaken the people of the friendly nation of Japan,” he declared on September 3. During the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake in Japan, a firestorm gave birth to a gigantic fire tornado that killed 38,000 people in 15 minutes in the Hifukusho-Ato region of Tokyo, the Telegraph said. Twenty expatriate regulars at the Yokohama United Club, the city’s most popular watering hole, died when the concrete building pancaked. A false rumor was spread that Koreans were taking advantage of the disaster, committing arson and robbery, and were in possession of bombs. The Great Kanto Earthquake turned 93 on 1st September 2016. Like the 1923 quake, this one unleashed secondary disasters: a tsunami that washed away dozens of villages; mudslides; fires; and damage to the Fukushima Daiichi reactors that emitted radiation into the atmosphere (and constituted the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986). The SS Dongola's captain reported that, while he was anchored in Yokohama's inner harbor: After a brief time there, she's sent back to the already destroyed Tokyo and she, alongside her soon-to-be love interest Seiji Horie and two young boys named Hidero and Kenichi, are taken in by a friend of the late Takao, Dr. Oikawa. Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. At two minutes to noon a magnitude approximate 7.9 earthquake toppled structures, crushed people, and unsettled everyone who survived. The earthquake, he has written, “fostered a culture of catastrophe defined by political and ideological opportunism, contestation and resilience, as well as a culture of reconstruction in which elites sought to not only rebuild Tokyo, but also reconstruct the Japanese nation and its people.”. “The cities of Tokyo and Yokohama, and surrounding towns and villages, have been largely if not completely destroyed by earthquake, fire and flood, with a resultant appalling loss of life and destitution and distress, requiring measures of urgent relief.” The American Red Cross, of which Coolidge was the titular head, initiated a national relief drive, raising $12 million for victims. The 1923 earthquake led to record-high morbidity due to unsanitary conditions following the earthquake, and it prompted the establishment of antityphoid measures and the building of urban infrastructure. The earthquake's force was so great that in Kamakura, over 60 km (37 mi) from the epicenter, it moved the Great Buddha statue, which weighs about 121 tonnes, almost 60 centimetres. The coals from cooking fires moved about on the wooden floors of houses and buildings, fires broke out and quickly spread. No center symbolized the country’s dynamism more than Yokohama, known as the City of Silk. One of â¦ (Source: Tokyo Reconstruction Work , Tokyo Municipal Office, 1930. âThe epicenter of the quake was located near Oshima Island in Sagama Bay (south of Tokyo). , This earthquake devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the Kantō region. In several documented cases, soldiers and policemen participated in the killings, and in other cases authorities handed groups of Koreans over to local vigilantes, who proceeded to kill them.  Some newspapers reported the rumors as fact, including the allegation that Koreans were poisoning wells. In Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, the Sagami Trough ruptures in a magnitude-8.0 earthquake, killing over 200,000 in Tokyo, causing floods and fires, and putting the main character at risk. The Hashou's mansion is destroyed, leading to an emotional confrontation between Akiko and Saionji; meanwhile, Sara's humble house in the suburbia is also destroyed and her and Junichirou's mother dies of injuries she sustained in the earthquake.. ", Clancey, Gregory.  Anti-Korean sentiment was heightened by fear of the Korean independence movement.  Socialists such as Hirasawa Keishichi [ja] (平澤計七), anarchists such as Sakae Ōsugi and Noe Itō, and the Chinese communal leader, Ō Kiten [ja] (王希天), were abducted and killed by local police and Imperial Army, who claimed the radicals intended to use the crisis as an opportunity to overthrow the Japanese government. The 9.0 earthquake that struck the northeast coast of Honshu this past March is not likely to have such an impact on Japan’s history. When tectonic plates shifted far beneath Sagami Bay, 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Tokyo, on Sept. 1, 1920, they unleashed the double whammy typical of such events: a strong earthquake followed by a tsunami. The RMS Empress of Australia was about to leave Yokohama harbour when the earthquake struck. Of the 44,000 people who had gathered there, only 300 survived. Schools and public and private organizations host disaster drills. The epicenter of the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake was deep beneath Izu Åshima Island in Sagami Bay. Living with Natural Disasters: Narratives of the Great Kanto and the Great Hanshin Earthquakes. "Voices of vulnerability and resilience: children and their recollections in post-earthquake Tokyo. Earthquake preparation literature in modern Japan almost always directs citizens to carry a portable radio and use it to listen to reliable information, and not to be misled by rumors in the event of a large earthquake. Privacy Statement Sept. 1, 1923 -- The Great Kanto Earthquake. The earthquake struck at 11:58:44 am JST (2:58:44 UTC) on Saturday, September 1, 1923.It lasted between 4 and 10 minutes. On September 1, 1923, Tokyo was devastated by an unusually violent natural catastrophe, the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake, which also sometimes called the Great Tokyo Earthquake.  The government reported 231 Koreans were killed by mobs in Tokyo and Yokohama in the first week of September. Pictured above, a circa 1925 woodcut by Unpo Takashima depicts Tokyoâs Ueno district ablaze. A fire whirl, also commonly known as a fire devil or fire tornado, is a whirlwind induced by a fire and often (at least partially) composed of flame or ash. Minutes later, another intense seismic wave battered eastern Japan. It presented exactly the aspect of a gigantic Christmas pudding over which the spirits were blazing, devouring nothing. A violent fire-tornado has broken out at the former site of the Army Clothing Depot in combustion caused by the destructions of the Great Kanto Earthquake at 3.30 p.m. September 1, 1923. In Yasunari Kawabata's 1930 novel The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa several chapters deal with the Great Kantō earthquake.  The damâ¦  According to the Japanese construction company Kajima Kobori Research's conclusive report of September 2004, 105,385 deaths were confirmed in the 1923 quake.. The Great KantÅ earthquake (é¢æ±å¤§å°é, KantÅ dai-jishin) struck the KantÅ Plain on the main Japanese island of HonshÅ« at 11:58:44 JST (02:58:44 UTC) on Saturday, September 1, 1923.Varied accounts indicate the duration of the earthquake was between four and ten minutes. (Japan had occupied Korea in 1905, annexed it five years later and ruled the territory with an iron grip.) Of the 3,000 Koreans taken into custody at the Army Cavalry Regiment base in Narashino, Chiba Prefecture, 10% were killed at the base, or after being released into nearby villages. Every year on the â¦ "'Extreme confusion and disorder'? Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. In the 2013 animated film by director Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises, the protagonist Jiro Horikoshi is traveling to Tokyo by train to study engineering. â âA fire whirl emerged during Japan's Great Kanto Earthquake and killed 38,000 people in just 15 minutes. Kallie Szczepanski Updated December 01, 2019 The Great Kanto Earthquake, also sometimes called the Great Tokyo Earthquake, rocked Japan on Sept. 1, 1923. For the next three days, Yonemura sent a stream of reports that alerted the world to the unfolding tragedy. The earthquake broke water mains all over the city, and putting out the fires took nearly two full days until late in the morning of September 3.. The Emperor and Empress were staying at Nikko when the earthquake struck Tokyo, and were never in any danger. Here and there a remnant of a building, a few shattered walls, stood up like rocks above the expanse of flame, unrecognizable....It was as if the very earth were now burning.  The park houses a Buddhist-style memorial hall/museum, a memorial bell donated by Taiwanese Buddhists, a memorial to the victims of World War II Tokyo air raids, and a memorial to the Korean victims of the vigilante killings. , The Honda Point Disaster on the West Coast of the United States, in which seven US Navy destroyers ran aground and 23 lives were lost, has been attributed to navigational errors caused by unusual currents set up by the earthquake in Japan.. Its force was so great in Kamakura, over 60 km (37 mi) from the epicenter, it moved the Great Buddhastatue, which weighs about 93 short tons (84,000 kg), almost two feet. The earthquake damaged the ship's hull beyond repair, leading it to be scrapped, and the unfinished fast battleship Kaga was converted into an aircraft carrier in its place. The quake shook buildings, streets and people, but it also shook the cooking fires and moved the coal embers to and fro igniting a massive fire. Maurice Tourneur's 1924 silent film Torment has an earthquake in Yokohama in its plot, and uses footage of the Kantō earthquake in the film.. 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake - Fire Tornado - Video | Check123 - Video encyclopedia ... More info. For the city was gone.”, The tragedy prompted countless acts of heroism. Some say timing is everything, the Great Kanto Earthquake struck around noon; lunchtime. Vote Now! U.S. naval vessels set sail from China on the evening of September 2, and within a week, dozens of warships packed with relief supplies—rice, canned roast beef, reed mats, gasoline—filled Yokohama Harbor. The death toll would be about 140,000, including 44,000 who had sought refuge near Tokyo’s Sumida River in the first few hours, only to be immolated by a freak pillar of fire known as a “dragon twist.” The temblor destroyed two of Japan’s largest cities and traumatized the nation; it also whipped up nationalist and racist passions. . Capt. In the manga (comic) adaptation of Japan Sinks, the Second Kantō Earthquake killed over five million. Following the devastation of the earthquake, some in the government considered the possibility of moving the capital elsewhere. On 1 September 1923 Tokyoâs vulnerabilities were exposed unambiguously. From Washington, President Calvin Coolidge took the lead in rallying the United States. The epicenter of the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake was deep beneath Izu Åshima Island in Sagami Bay. Several places frequented by the protagonist Aria Kanbara, like her boarding school and the house of the rich Nishimikado clan that she is an illegitimate member of, become shelters for the wounded and the homeless.  Some fires developed into firestorms that swept across cities. Image likely prior to the Great Kanto Earthquake, which levelled much of Yokohama on September 1st, 1923. Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Magazine There are several different names for this phenomenon. The innovative design used to construct the Imperial Hotel, and its structural fortitude, inspired the creation of the popular Lincoln Logs toy.. â¢ The Great Kanto Earthquake was a 7.9 magnitude earthquake inTokyo, Japan. Roving bands of Japanese prowled the ruins of Yokohama and Tokyo, setting up makeshift roadblocks and massacring Koreans across the earthquake zone. Soon, the entire city was ablaze. . Army and police personnel colluded in the vigilante killings in some areas.  Proposed sites for the new capital were even discussed. Although both were devastated, the city of Yokohama was hit even worse than Tokyo. The date was September 1, 1923, and the event was the Great Kanto Earthquake, at the time considered the worst natural disaster ever to strike quake-prone Japan. Advertising Notice Full Record Atop a bridge Description: Atop a bridge, some sort of locomotive, train car, or automobile is turned on its side. Otis Manchester Poole, a 43-year-old American manager of a trading firm, stepped out of his largely still-intact office near the Bund to face an indelible scene. The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.9 on the moment magnitude scale (M w ), with its focus deep beneath Izu â¦ The tsunami caused many deaths, including about 100 people along Yui-ga-hama Beach in Kamakura and an estimated 50 people on the Enoshima causeway. The initial jolt was followed a few minutes later by a 40-foot-high tsunami. The first shock hit at 11:58 a.m., emanating from a seismic fault six miles beneath the floor of Sagami Bay, 30 miles south of Tokyo. Hannah Gould, âExhibiting disasterâ 47 A deep fissure opened by the earthquake, NijÅ« Bridge, ... a fire tornado or âdragon twistâ, which demolished the Honjo Clothing Depot, whose fate is one of the more harrowing tales of the 1923 disaster. Down at the docks of Yokohama, Japan’s biggest port and its gateway to the West, hundreds of well-wishers were seeing off the Empress of Australia, a 615-foot luxury steamship bound for Vancouver. Yokohama, risen from the ashes: 140,000 people are thought to have died in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, which destroyed 90 percent of the buildings in Yokohama. In contrast to London, where typhoid fever had been steadily declining since the 1870s, the rate in Tokyo remained high, more so in the upper-class residential northern and western districts than in the densely populated working-class eastern district. In 1923, people were still cooking with fire stoves powered by coal. Then came fires, fanned by winds and fueled by flimsy wooden houses, reducing much of what remained to ashes. The radio man “flashed the news across the sea at the speed of sunlight,” reported the New York Times, “to tell of tremendous casualties, buildings leveled by fire, towns swept by tidal waves...disorder by rioters, raging fire and wrecked bridges.”. In 1923, a deadly earthquake had hit Japan, and predominantly its capital Tokyo. The wave of good feeling between the two countries would soon dissipate, however, in mutual accusations. The Great KantÅ earthquake (é¢æ±å¤§å°é, KantÅ dai-jishin) struck the KantÅ Plain on the main Japanese island of HonshÅ« at 11:58:44 JST (02:58:44 UTC) on Saturday, September 1, 1923.Varied accounts indicate the duration of the earthquake was between four and ten minutes. All told, 45 percent of Tokyo burned before the last embers of the inferno died out on September 3. KantÅ Massacre. In Oswald Wynd's novel The Ginger Tree, Mary Mackenzie survives the earthquake, and later bases her clothes designing company in one of the few buildings that remained standing in the aftermath. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. The quake shook buildings, streets and people, but it also shook the cooking fires and moved the â¦ or Extensive firestorms and even a fire tornado added to the death toll. The city of Yokohama was hit even worse than Tokyo was, although both were devastated. The Great Kanto Earthquake. The single greatest loss of life was caused by a fire tornado that engulfed the Rikugun Honjo Hifukusho (formerly the Army Clothing Depot) in downtown Tokyo, where about 38,000 people were incinerated after taking shelter there after the earthquake. “The tidal wave swept out a great section of the village near the beach,” wrote Henry W. Kinney, a Tokyo-based editor for Trans-Pacific magazine. The destruction of the US embassy caused Ambassador Cyrus Woods to relocate the embassy to the hotel. One of theseâwhich occurred during the Great Kanto Earthquake in Japan in 1923 âprovides an example of just how incredibly dangerous firenados can be. Samuel Robinson, the Canadian skipper of the Empress of Australia, took hundreds of refugees aboard, organized a fire brigade that kept the ship from being incinerated by advancing flames, then steered the crippled vessel to safety in the outer harbor. An explanation is the decline of waste disposal, which became particularly serious in the northern and western districts when traditional methods of waste disposal collapsed due to urbanization. The josei manga and anime Kasei Yakyoku (by author Makiko Hirata) also finishes some time after the earthquake, as a corollary to the main love triangle between the noblewoman Akiko Hashou, her lover Taka Itou, and Akiko's personal maid Sara Uchida. TIL a massive earthquake struck Japan in 1923, causing a fire tornado that incinerated 38,000 people in 15 minutes and was so hot, people's feet were melted to the ground and they could not run away. | GETTY IMAGES A tsunami with waves up to 10 m (33 ft) high struck the coast of Sagami Bay, Bōsō Peninsula, Izu Islands, and the east coast of Izu Peninsula within minutes. Meanwhile, a wall of water surged from the fault zone toward the coast of Honshu. The Great Kanto Earthquake, 1923 Hannah Gould. This earthquake devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the KantÅ region.Its force was so great in Kamakura, over 60 km (37 mi) from the epicenter, it moved the Great Buddha statue, which weighs about 93 short tons (84,000 kg), almost two feet. This page was last edited on 9 September 2020, at 23:17 (UTC). ", Borland, Janet. ALL TRAFFIC STOPPED—and dispatched it to an RCA receiving station in Hawaii. , Director Chongkong Oh made two documentary films about the pogrom: Hidden Scars: The Massacre of Koreans from the Arakawa River Bank to Shitamachi in Tokyo (1983) and The Disposed-of Koreans: The Great Kanto Earthquake and Camp Narashino (1986). According to survivors, the initial quaking lasted for about 14 seconds—long enough to bring down nearly every building on Yokohama’s watery, unstable ground. Estimated casualties totaled about 142,800 deaths, including about 40,000 who went missing and were presumed dead. Continue KantÅ Massacre. It is one of the most devastating natural disasters that mankind has ever seen, causing over 140,000 people to lose their lives. Waki Yamato's manga Haikara-san ga Tōru actually reaches its climax after the Great Kantō earthquake—which happens right before the wedding of the female lead, Benio Hanamura, and her second love Tousei. Give a Gift. 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake - Fire Tornado | Video - Check123; Last edited on 9 September 2020, at 23:17. The most disastrous fire whirl in history was during the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake in Japan, where a city sized fire spawned a fire whirl that killed 38,000 people in fifteen minutes. Frank Lloyd Wright received credit for designing the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, to withstand the quake, although in fact the building was damaged, though standing, by the shock. When tectonic plates shifted far beneath Sagami Bay, 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Tokyo, on Sept. 1, 1920, they unleashed the double whammy typical of such events: a strong earthquake followed by a tsunami. The earthquakeâs initial shock struck at 11:58 a.m., the time of day when most families were cooking lunch. And the quake may have emboldened right-wing forces at the very moment that the country was poised between military expansion and an embrace of Western democracy, only 18 years before Japan would enter World War II. The Great KantÅ earthquake (é¢æ±å¤§éç½, KantÅ daishinsai) was a Japanese natural disaster in the KantÅ region of the island of HonshÅ«.  The Army distributed flyers denying the rumor and warning civilians against attacking Koreans, but in many cases vigilante activity only ceased as a result of Army operations against it. Fires started immediately after the earthquake. Many people died when their feet became stuck on melting tarmac. Tokyo 1923 According to the Guinness Book of Records, the most destructive earthquake ever was the Kanto earthquake that struck the Tokyo and Yokohama areas at 11:58am on September 1, 1923. The Great Kanto Earthquake, sometimes called the Great Tokyo Earthquake, rocked Japan on September 1, 1923. Japan scholar Kenneth Pyle of the University of Washington says that conservative elites were already nervous about democratic forces emerging in society, and “the 1923 earthquake does sort of begin to reverse some of the liberal tendencies that appear right after World War I....After the earthquake, there’s a measurable increase in right-wing patriotic groups in Japan that are really the groundwork of what is called Japanese fascism.” Peter Duus, an emeritus professor of history at Stanford, states that it was not the earthquake that kindled right-wing activities, “but rather the growth of the metropolis and the emergence of what the right wing regarded as heartless, hedonistic, individualistic and materialist urban culture.” The more significant long-term effect of the earthquake, he says, “was that it set in motion the first systematic attempt at reshaping Tokyo as a modern city. "The Changing Character of Disaster Victimhood: Evidence from Japan’s 'Great Earthquakes'. Then, as in Yokohama, fires spread, fueled by flimsy wooden houses and fanned by high winds. â T Thousands of people flocked to a large area removed from buildings where they thought they would be safe. In the historical fantasy novel Teito Monogatari (Hiroshi Aramata) a supernatural explanation is given for the cause of the Great Kantō earthquake, connecting it with the principles of feng shui. September 5, 2013 â The Great Japan Earthquake of 1923: The powerful quake and ensuing tsunami that struck Yokohama and Tokyo traumatized a nation and unleashed historic consequences. . The outbreak of World War II and subsequent destruction severely limited resources. Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless otherwise noted. All tokusatsu fans should know about this event and just how significant it was. Evacuees were transported by ship from Kantō to as far as Kobe in Kansai. See more ideas about earthquake, japan, gunma. The Submersion of Japan means so much to the Japanese people because of this event. âEach new gust of wind,â reported Joseph Dahlmann, a Jesuit priest who witnessed the â¦ Before the Great Kanto Earthquake struck, Japan was full of optimism.  Independent reports said the number of dead was far higher, ranging from 6,000 to 10,000. Some discreet memorials are located in Yokoamicho Park in Sumida Ward, at the site of the open space in which an estimated 38,000 people were killed by a single fire tornado. An extreme example is the 1923 Great KantÅ earthquake in Japan which ignited a city-sized firestorm and produced an enormous fire whirl that killed 38,000 people in fifteen minutes. Sept. 1, 1923 -- The Great Kanto Earthquake. “I saw a thirty-foot sampan [boat] that had been lifted neatly on top of the roof of a prostrated house. California Do Not Sell My Info The SS Dongola's captain reported that, while he was anchored in Yokohama's inner harbor: At 11.55 a.m. ship commenced to tremble and vibrate violently and on looking towards the shore it was seen that a terrible earthquake was taking place, buildings were collapsing in all directions and in a few minutes nothing could be seen for clouds of dust. It was the deadliest earthquake in Japanese history. Within 30 minutes of the first tremor more than 130 major fires broke out across Tokyo alone. It was the deadliest earthquake in Japanese history. On the night of Parks were placed all over Tokyo as refuge spots, and public buildings were constructed with stricter standards than private buildings to accommodate refugees. University of California, Berkeley. The Tokyo earthquake in the movie is referred to in the book as âThe Second Great Kanto Earthquakeâ. This earthquake devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the KantÅ region. Within hours of the catastrophe, rumors spread that Korean immigrants were poisoning wells and using the breakdown of authority to plot the overthrow of the Japanese government. Those two disasters alone claimed thousands of lives in Tokyo and Yokohama. (Source: Tokyo Reconstruction Work , Tokyo Municipal Office, 1930. âThe epicenter of the quake was located near Oshima Island in Sagama Bay (south of Tokyo). the Japanese economy in the great Kantō earthquake of 1923. The related topic for this episode is The 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake. Beginning in 1960, every September 1 is designated as Disaster Prevention Day to commemorate the earthquake and remind people of the importance of preparedness, as August and September are the peak of the typhoon season. Keep up-to-date on: © 2021 Smithsonian Magazine. The Great Kanto Earthquake obliterated all of that in a single afternoon. The Great Kantō earthquake (関東大地震, Kantō dai-jishin) struck the Kantō Plain on the main Japanese island of Honshū at 11:58:44 JST (02:58:44 UTC) on Saturday, September 1, 1923. The earthquake itself caused catastrophic damage to Yokohama, but the destruction was exacerbated by runaway fire that overtook the city in the immediate aftermath. 1923 Great KantÅ fires A fire tornado ravaged through downtown Tokyo, and water mains were destroyed, meaning the fire blazed on for two days. As the evening of the quake approached, Kinney observed, “Yokohama, the city of almost half a million souls, had become a vast plain of fire, of red, devouring sheets of flame which played and flickered. Consist of interviews with survivors, witnesses and perpetrators comment on this article: related... Another intense seismic wave battered eastern Japan followed a few minutes later by a 40-foot-high.... 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