Earthquake Nation: The Cultural Politics of Japanese Seismicity, 1868-1930
Accelerating seismic activity in late Meiji Japan climaxed in the legendary Great Nobi Earthquake of 1891, which rocked the main island from Tokyo to Osaka, killing thousands. Ironically, the earthquake brought down many "modern" structures built on the advice of foreign architects and engineers, while leaving certain traditional, wooden ones standing. This book, the first English-language history of modern Japanese earthquakes and earthquake science, considers the cultural and political ramifications of this and other catastrophic events on Japan’s relationship with the West, with modern science, and with itself. Gregory Clancey argues that seismicity was both the Achilles’ heel of Japan's nation-building project—revealing the state’s western-style infrastructure to be surprisingly fragile—and a new focus for nativizing discourses which credited traditional Japanese architecture with unique abilities to ride out seismic waves. Tracing his subject from the Meiji Restoration to the Great Kant Earthquake of 1923 (which destroyed Tokyo), Clancey shows earthquakes to have been a continual though mercurial agent in Japan’s self-fashioning; a catastrophic undercurrent to Japanese modernity. This innovative and absorbing study not only moves earthquakes nearer the center of modern Japan change—both materially and symbolically—but shows how fundamentally Japan shaped the global art, science, and culture of natural disaster.
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1 Strong Nation Stone Nation
3 The Seismologists
4 The National Essence
5 A Great Earthquake
6 Japan as Earthquake Nation
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American Anglo-Japanese Ansei earthquake archi Architecture in Japan artisans aseismic brick buildings Britain Brunton carpentry Cawley century civil engineering collapsed construction culture daiku daiku-work damage Davison deﬁne destructive disaster Dyer early earth Earthquake Countries earthquake-proof earthquake-resistant English European ferro-concrete ﬁgure ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst frame Gifu Gundan Ibid IEIC Imamura Imperial University inﬂuence Japa Japan Weekly Mail Japanese architecture Japanese buildings Japanese carpenters Japanese carpentry Japanese houses Japanese seismology Josiah Conder Kikuchi Kikuchi Dairoku kindai kenchiku KoŻbudaigakko landscape lecture Maekawa Kunio masonry Meiji Japan Meiji period Milne Milne’s modern Muramatsu Nagoya Nagoya Castle nation nese NoŻbi earthquake NoŻbi Plain OŻmori ofﬁce ofﬁcial pagoda practice quake resistance roof Sano scientiﬁc scientists seis seismic waves seismograph Seismological Society seismology seismometers Sekiya Shokko Society of Japan Stratham structures Suzuki Tatsuno Tatsuno Kingo temples tion Tokyo trusses Western wood wooden wrote Yokohama zoŻkagaku zoŻkagaku-shi