September 1 is the Disaster Prevention Day in Japan. This is because of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake. This quake made over 105,000 casualties* and gave huge impacts on a Japanese society. The Great Kanto Earthquake is the worst disaster in a Japanese history. Here, some points are picked up. First, the quake directly attacks the capital city, Tokyo. Second, the disaster killed so many people mainly by fire, not objects falling. Third, rumors made the disaster worse. Fourth, Tokyo has recovered first and strongly.
With regard to the devastated areas, Tokyo and Kanagawa (Yokohama) populated areas, were severely affected by the quake. The epicenter was located near Oshima Island in Sagami Bay, South of Tokyo. In Yokohama, 90 percent of all homes were damaged and destroyed. The 60 percent of the city’s population became homeless (Brown University).
Concerning to the fire, the time which the earthquake hit was 11:58, so the families had prepared for their lunches. Many families’ cooking stoves were overturned by the quake and make fires. The fire spread out with strong winds.
In respect of the rumors, the rumors, especially about Korean such as “Korean do criminal activities and make social confusions” make the disaster more political. The Home Ministry declared martial law and ordered all sectional police chiefs to make maintenance of order and security a top. After the disaster, the radio became popular all over Japan. This is because of the disaster’s lessons.
Concerning to the recovery, Shinpei Goto, Mayor of Tokyo, created and proceeded a reconstruction plan of Tokyo for building back better. The basic infrastructures of today’s Tokyo were built during the time.
*death numbers were revised after the recent research from over 140,000 to 105,000 because there were several double countings.