. A Great Earthquake

Gregory Clancey

in Earthquake Nation

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780520246072
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932296 | DOI:
. A Great Earthquake

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On the morning of October 28, 1891, an unusually powerful earthquake centered in the Nōbi Plain near Nagoya rocked central Japan from Osaka to Tokyo. Contemporary seismologists, estimating on the basis of the yet-to-be-invented Richter scale, place the earthquake's magnitude as 8.4, making it the strongest seismic event in modern Japanese history. Given the power and extent of what would be named “the Great Nōbi Earthquake,” it was natural that all parties to the seismic question would flock to the ruins and draw lessons. The range and diversity of the destruction between Nagoya and Osaka indeed provided the evidence for many types of argument. On the one hand, there were tens of thousands of collapsed and/or burned Japanese wooden farmhouses. On the other hand, a number of very large European-style buildings and engineering structures had also dramatically failed.

Keywords: powerful earthquake; Nōbi Plain; seismic event; Great Nōbi Earthquake; Nagoya; Osaka

Chapter.  14527 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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