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Seismic JapanThe Long History and Continuing Legacy of the Ansei Edo Earthquake$
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Gregory Smits

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838171

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838171.001.0001

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The Ansei Edo Earthquake

The Ansei Edo Earthquake

(p.103) Chapter 4 The Ansei Edo Earthquake
Seismic Japan

Gregory Smits

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the Ansei Edo earthquake, with particular emphasis on patterns of death and destruction, benefit and relief, rebuilding and recovery, and some of the disaster's cultural products. It begins with an analysis of what actually took place on the second day of the tenth lunar month, 1855, and in the months thereafter. It then considers some of causal factors in determining the severity of ground motion, and therefore destruction, including the soil base. It also discusses government efforts to survey the damage caused by the earthquake, including the destruction of the offshore artillery batteries, the elite brothel district called Shin-Yoshiwara, and storehouses. Finally, it assesses patterns of disaster relief and argues that the Ansei Edo earthquake was both a destructive and a creative event whose effects differed owing to the interplay of local geology and social geography.

Keywords:   destruction, damage, Ansei Edo earthquake, death, benefit, disaster relief, soil base, Shin-Yoshiwara, storehouses

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