Chapter

. Japan as Earthquake Nation

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520246072.003.0007
. Japan as Earthquake Nation

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In the immediate aftermath of the Nōbi earthquake, seismology commanded state patronage as a science of aftershock. The Imperial Earthquake Investigation Committee (IEIC), the first interdisciplinary scientific research body established by the Meiji state, was a direct result of the Nōbi earthquake, and would oversee one of the most high-profile Japanese science projects of the Meiji and Taishō eras. Despite Japan's reputation as an earthquake country and the financial resources of the IEIC, Japan still did not become, in the first decade of the twentieth century, the undisputed center of world seismology. The reason was that certain astronomical instruments owned by the German physicist Ernst von Rebeur-Paschwitz, but based on the principle of James Ewing's original seismograph, had become so sensitive by the late 1880s that waves from the relatively strong Kumamoto (Japan) earthquake of 1889 were faintly registered at his laboratory in Potsdam.

Keywords: aftershock; Nōbi earthquake; seismology; Meiji state; Ernst von Rebeur-Paschwitz

Chapter.  11557 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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