Great Kanto Earthquake


October 23, 2021

The Great Kanto Earthquake (関東大震災 カントウだいshinsai[*]) was caused by the Great Kanto Earthquake that occurred on September 1, 1923 (Taisho 12) at 11:58:32 JST. It refers to the earthquake damage (massive earthquake) and secondary massacres in the Kanto region and adjacent areas.

Earthquake Overview

The Great Kanto Earthquake caused enormous damage to a wide area inland and coastal areas from Ibaraki and Chiba prefectures adjacent to Kanagawa prefecture and Tokyo prefecture (now Tokyo Prefecture) to eastern Shizuoka prefecture. In earthquake disasters, commonly called major earthquakes, there are several characteristics in the cause of death of the largest number of deaths, and in the case of the Great Kanto Earthquake, the most common cause of death is small fire (death from fire). In the case of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995 (earthquake in southern Hyogo Prefecture), the rate of crushing was high, and in the case of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 (earthquake in the Pacific Ocean in Tohoku region), the rate of drowning was high. In the case of the Great Kanto Earthquake, it was a typhoon that left the Japanese archipelago and headed north to the coast of the Sea of ​​Japan. Strong winds were blowing in the Kanto region, and a widespread fire broke out in the city of Tokyo (15 wards of Tokyo) at the time when wooden houses were close. . The Great Kanto Earthquake was the largest earthquake disaster in Japan before the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. A wide-ranging earthquake disaster spanning several prefectures and prefectures resulted in the largest number of casualties and displaced persons in history at the time. The earthquake struck Tokyo, where the functions of the Japanese government were concentrated, paralyzing national functions, making it difficult for the government to respond on a large scale. Also, the then Prime Minister of Japan, Tomasaburo Kato died suddenly on August 24, eight days before the earthquake, and Kosai Uchida, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, took over as an interim acting acting minister, and Yamamoto Yamamoto on September 2, the day after the earthquake. After Gon Nohyoe took office as the new Prime Minister (Daemyung descended on August 28), and on September 27, he established the Institutional Rehabilitation Center, where Shinpei Goto, the Minister of Home Affairs, served as the governor, and started restoration work. At that time, due to the financial stagnation, a disaster check occurred, and an emergency edict issued a moratorium on all these bills. A significant amount of external debt was invested in the earthquake recovery, and more than half of this was invested in the electric power business, which was in the early stage of the introduction of thermal power plants. J. P. Morgan acquired over 1 billion yen in post-earthquake bonds by 1931, which exceeded 60% of the Japanese government's national budget at the time. The Rothschilds also participated in the takeover of the bonds. As a fund to raise public bonds, Kenko Mori worked in secret. From the time the Anglo-Japanese alliance was concluded, the Japanese government was under a lot of pressure on financing, but especially after the earthquake, the pressure on external debt, both government bonds and corporate bonds, increased due to the reconstruction project. In addition, due to the earthquake triggered by the earthquake and the subsequent Showa Economic Depression (March 1927), the embargo imposed in 1930 had an adverse effect on the difficult economic situation in Japan that continued until the Great Depression (Showa Depression in Japan). The export of gold was banned again. Due to the Great Kanto Earthquake, many people who lived in Tokyo or Yokohama moved to Osaka and Aichi Prefecture, which later became Japan's three largest metropolitan areas. Osaka surpassed Tokyo to become the sixth most populous city in the world at the time. Hanshinkan influenced the ranking of Japan's six major cities as we entered the Great Osaka Era in the late Hanshinkan Modernism (see also the document of Japan's three largest cities). In addition, the city of Tokyo imported about 800 Ford Model T to replace the destroyed Tokyo Metropolitan Tank.

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