Great Kanto Earthquake - 1923

In 1923, a major earthquake - known as the "Great Kanto" quake - devastated Tokyo and nearby Yokohama on September 1. It remains one of the most destructive quakes in recorded history.

In this historic footage, we see the impact of the disaster on the lives of the Japanese people (about 142,800 died) and their surroundings. 

Japan-guide.com has photos of the disaster on its website.  They provide some indication of its massive impact.

The quake struck, without warning, while many people were home for lunch.  Worsening the disaster, overturned kitchen stoves caused fires which rapidly spread throughout the city.  Ninety percent of homes in the harbor town of Yokohama were destroyed while residents of Toyko lost 350,000 dwellings.

About 130,000 people lost their lives in this disaster.

Loose translation of the intertitles (written in Portuguese):
Film Title - After the Catastrophe
:04 - 0:35 - Working with bravery, the Japanese try to recover citizens devastated by the stunning catastrophe
0:36 - 0:49 - The seismic event has produced enormous cracks in the ground
0:50 - 1:04 - Workers use dynamite to break through the ruins and clean-up the rubbish
1:05 - 1:19 - Bodies are removed from the rivers, then incinerated, to prevent the spread of epidemics
1:20 - 1:39 - People, without homes, need provisional shelters which had to be built
1:40 - 1:58 - The Red Cross continues to provide care to the victims
1:59 - 2:16 - Help, for the victims of this terrible situation, arrives from the five parts of the world
2:17 - 2:26 - Distribution of the accumulating goods, sent from around the world, is made daily to those in need
2:27 - End - Faith in the future animates the faces of people hit hard by the calamity

Media Credits

Archival footage, from 1923, of the Great Kanto Earthquake.  Online, courtesy Japanese national archives.


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"Great Kanto Earthquake - 1923" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Sep 16, 2019.
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