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Special Issue: The 100th Anniversary of the 1923 Great Kantō Earthquake (Table of Contents)

September 1, 2023
Volume 21 | Issue 8 | Number 1
Article ID 5783


A century ago, on the first day of September 1923, a powerful earthquake struck the Kantō Plain, toppling buildings and triggering firestorms throughout Tokyo and Yokohama. Thousands of ethnic Koreans were murdered in the aftermath. The disaster took over 100,000 lives and cast a long shadow over Japan in subsequent years. To this day, millions of Japanese children practice disaster prevention on September 1st.

Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus presents a special issue on the anniversary of the quake. Our authors below assess its economic, political, and cultural impact and ponder the lessons learned. Finally, Watanave Hidenori, professor at The University of Tokyo Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, explains his work to digitally map the quake, and its revolutionary impact on combating official disinformation.

We would like to thank all our authors for working so hard to put this collection together in time for the anniversary. We also received invaluable editorial assistance from Laura Hein, David Slater, Mary McCarthy, Tristan Grunow and Laney Bahan, who edited and shepherded the manuscripts from submission to publication with great patience and professionalism.



1. Introduction by Kerry Smith

2. Fiction from Unstable Ground: The Imagination of Disaster in the Aftermath of the Kantō Earthquake by Alex Bates

3. Giving Earthquake Children the Voice they Deserve One Hundred Years Later by Janet Borland

4. The Imamura vs. Omori Earthquake Forecasting Debate by Robert J. Geller

5. Coming to Terms with a Colonial Panic Attack: Or, How to Remember the 1923 Kantō Korean Massacres as Chōsenjin Sawagi by Andre Haag

6. Thinking About the Economic Consequences of the Great Kantō Earthquake by Janet Hunter

7. Acts of Humanity, Expectations of Returns: Corporate Giving from America’s Industrial Heartland following the Great Kantō Earthquake by J. Charles Schencking

8. Lessons from the Great Kantō Earthquake by Kerry Smith

9. Imaging Kantō by Gennifer Weisenfeld

10. Mapping the Great Kanto Quake: Interview with Watanave Hidenori, Professor at The University of Tokyo Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies with Watanave Hidenori, interview by Tristan Grunow, Laura Hein, and David McNeill



This is the Table of Contents for the Special Issue: The 100th Anniversary of the 1923 Great Kantō Earthquake.


Readers of this special may be also interested in Kenji Hasegawa's 2022 article "The 8 p.m. Battle Cry: The 1923 Earthquake and the Korean Sawagi in Central Tokyo."