Talk:1923 Great Kantō earthquake

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"Typhoon strikes Tokyo Bay"[edit]

This information is not cited in the article and is in fact incorrect. There was a typhoon in Japan at the time, however, it was several hunderd kilometers to the west in the vicinity of the 能登半島 (Noto Peninsula) of Ishikawa Prefecture. As the typhoon's centre was nowhere near the epicentre of the earthquake, there is no reason to believe that atmospheric pressure or tidal surge from the typhoon had any influence whatsoever on the earthquake's occurrence. Winds wrapping around from the typhoon's circulation, however, were particularly strong in the Kanto region on that day, and it is considered more than likely that these contributed to fanning the flames from the fires which broke out in the quake and created the ensuing firestorm in Tokyo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Todd Gorman (talkcontribs) 08:24, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Korean Massacre Citation?[edit]

Where's the proof? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:26, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Authorities spreading rumors[edit]

"Japanese authorities actively spread rumours". Where is the source? I'm quite aware of killing but governemnt role in this spreading rumor is not substantiated as far as I'm aware. FWBOarticle 21:46, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Well, that was one reason I added the link The 1923 Kanto Massacre of Koreans in Japan: A Japanese Professor Reveals the Truth. That the authorities deliberately spread rumours is treated as an accepted fact in all Korean-language reference works I've consulted, and some have details of the specific secret orders that were issued. I would be happy to translate some of them if you need. I haven't been able to find many English-language sources on the killings, let alone the role of the government, and the ones that treat the government role at all go into no further detail than that the government spread rumours.
I understand your reaction, since these are serious allegations and yet are not widely known. However, the deliberate, even murderous targeting of minority and/or opposition groups by the government is hardly unique in history; nor is the stirring of ethnic hatred for political gains. --Iceager 05:25, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I read it up. Your assertion is BS. I even checked info from Zainichi organisation. Rumour did start from the government. But Korean were killed by civilian mobs. FWBOarticle 19:27, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Is there any reason that we could trust those references? It would be hard to believe Koreans are unbiased on this issue. Unless you show unpartisant resources asserting the government's role, we should get away from that. -- Taku 13:33, Aug 30, 2004 (UTC)

It would also be pretty difficult to believe that the Japanese are unbiased. Well, the same allegations have also come from the Japanese themselves (eg. see link in article), but I take it you don't accept it as non-partisan. All non-Korean, Japanese are awesome they totally go all kamikaze and shit sources that turn up on a quick google search seems to be from those with an agenda to expose Japanese crimes, so they must be partisan, right? Well, one important piece of evidence comes from the private militias that conducted a lot of the killings. When the government tried to prosecute them later for the crimes, the union of those militias angrily responded that it was "uniformed officials" that told them it was OK "to beat and kill Koreans on sight" <a%20href= (source in Korean).
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations' 2003 report on the killings also includes findings that the government spread misinformation that incited the killings (see report).
In any case, because this article is on the earthquake, not the killings, and to convince the sceptics a lot more detail seems necessary, I will leave the article as it is and perhaps make the killings a separate article in the future, as it no doubt deserves to be.
For your reference, here is a link for a representative encyclopedia article in Korean on the killings: --Iceager 06:16, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The article sited state that "Some scholars believe that, in view of the martial law, it is plausible that the rumors were spread by the government in order to justify the martial law." It appear that "no smoking gun" document is found. Anyway feel free to present such view with proper attribution to "some scholars".

+++ end of FWBOarticle's comment +++

The argument that the same allegations have also come from the Japanese themselves doesn't cout. They are leftist who always wait for their chance to criticize the government, especially the military. And they have been dissidents too long to view things from the the authority's standpoint. It is highly unlikely that the authority fomented disorder. Actually it always hates disorder. It was wary of a communist revolution and other disturbances. Of course, it didn't want Japanese crowd to promote disorder.

I found an interesting research about the Korean claims: He just read books and web pages and traced the sources of information. But he demonstrated how unreliable they are. I think tracing the origins of information is a sure formula for countering information laundering --Nanshu 02:59, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I have correction to make. One police chief has sent report to other section in effect stating that "Korean are commiting arsons". This seems to be the basis of the government spread the false rumour. So far there is no document showing this officer's report to the higher government office. The right insist that the report is accurate while the left insist that the report is false. Secondly, the death toll estimate vary. The report by Home Ministry say 400-600, newspaper reported the figure of about 1400. In Korean, the official line is 6000 and it is based on made by a Korean two year after the earthquake. Obviously, the Japanese right consider his report/reasearch to be fabrication. Anyway, it is o.k. to quote the report. Then explain that the right would consider the report to be accurate while the left consider it to be false. But you should wait for a while because this article is currently on the homepage of Wikipedia.FWBOarticle 03:50, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The best thing to do at this point is to create an article on the killings and present the details and the differing arguments there. Great Kanto Massacre seems the logical title being the most popular name for the incident, although I have my reservations about the word choices of "Great" and "Massacre" (but then it would be consistent with calling the 1923 earthquake the "Great Kanto earthquake").
As for the death toll, "hundreds, perhaps thousands" seems to be the safest estimate, reflecting the range 200-1400. Government stats for alleged massacres tend to be the absolute lowest estimates, at least according to recent Korean history (cf. Gwangju Massacre, Jeju Massacre). --Iceager 06:03, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Ah firstly, you are starting POV edit/delete with the title such as "Great Massacre". It is safest to discuss it within this page because it is part of Great kanto Earthquake with lot of death toll. Plus the 6000 assertion have some problems because it count 3000 missing as part of death toll and there appear to be no English source discussing the debate over the killing. Unfortunately, the site I found is much on denial side basically trashing the 6000 figures so yes, several hundres to several thousands is probably the safest description. What appear to be the case is that there were rumour/report of Korean looting. There is at least one documentary evidence of one officer relaying report to other stations stating "Korean are committing arson". The correctness of this report is disputed among left and right. However, on the basis of this rumours and report, large number of Korean (many likely to be unrelated to allegation) and some trade unionsts were executed under the pretext of martial law by military, police and private militia. Right consider execution by police and military to be legitimate on the assumption that victims were wacked for the alleged crimes. The left dispute such assumption. And wait until this article disappear from the front page of wikipedia. We don't want public to see the edit/delete war. FWBOarticle 06:44, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)
What do you mean, "you are starting POV edit/delete with the title such as 'Great Massacre'"? I haven't introduced the term anywhere in the article. And in case you haven't noticed, that's why I said I had reservations about the title "Great Kanto Massacre", even though 關東大虐殺 seems to be the most common name for the incident. If you follow my edit history, you'll see that I always avoided using the word "massacre" until discussing a possible title for a separate page on the incident.
And whatever the title, it merits its own page. This was a defining moment for the ethnic Korean community in Japan, just as the Armenian Genocide was for the Armenian diaspora and the Japanese American Internment was for the Japanese Americans. It is not just something that can be swept under the rug. I understand that many Japanese will want as little publicity as possible about this incident, preferring to treat it as some minor detail about the earthquake. But if you should reason that treatment of the incident has no place on Wikipedia, then you're verging on Holocaust denial territory. --Iceager 07:52, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Richter scale?[edit]

The article on the Richter magnitude scale states that the scale was developed in 1935, a dozen years after the Great Kanto earthquake. So the statement in the article Great Kanto earthquake that "The quake was recorded at a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale" doesn't ring true. Perhaps the magnitude was computed later based on other measurements?

- My guess is that is why the magnitudes range so much, it was calculated later, but not perfectly.


The way this page is presented is biased towards the Japanese government, stating the civilian millitia were responsible for the massacres of Koreans.

One report of Korean rioting originate from the police. Unfortunately, that is not a smoking guns. The media of that period reported widely about rumour of rioting. The source of the report is from the public panic. It is not same as that report being the source of rumour in entire Tokyo. Some just took that one report from police and then jumped to conclusion. FWBOarticle 19:32, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
"It is possible that the earthquake left a psychological impact of unsafety on the people cumulating with the rise of imperialism in Japan, with the purpose of getting safer lands by conquest, such as China." This is worse. It's outrageous! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:13, 2 March 2007 (UTC).


In the section Damage we find this sentence: The damage is estimated to have exceeded one billion U.S. dollars at contemporary values. Unfortunately, the word "contemporary" is ambiguous; it means at the same time as the event being discussed but is more often used to mean modern or current. Because of this ambiguity the word should be avoided and, in this sentence, replaced with a phrase that is unambiguous. The problem is, I don't know whether the intended meaning was 1 billion 1923 dollars or 1 billion dollars as of the time of writing. Can anyone help? Pinkville 23:17, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Police protecting the Koreans???[edit]

George DeVos' "Koreans in Japan" describes "...On 3 September Ueno police captured seventy Koreans. They chopped off their arms and threw the bodies into a fire..." I am not sure if that counts as protection or not.... ( 23:09, 11 November 2006 (UTC))

The article does state that "army and police personnel are known to have condoned or even colluded in the vigilante killings in some areas". Phonemonkey 20:37, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Details on the massacres probably deserve their own article.-- (talk) 10:10, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Desolation vs Desolution[edit]

I fixed what I assumed was a typo in the image caption ("Desolution of Nihonbashi and Kanda seen from the Roof of Dai-ichi Sogo Building, Kyobashi."), changing it to "Desolation". This edit was reverted by Amagase; I don't understand why, so I'm asking here... The OED only has 'desolation'. Thanks! pm215 18:13, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Your spelling was correct. I've fixed the caption again. -- Sakurambo 桜ん坊 19:05, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I've uploaded the image file as misspelled name... Thanks for your correcting. --Amagase 12:17, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Facts from museum[edit]

From a visit to the memorial museum, and the english pamphlet: - The current park is the place (Kyuu Yasuda Garden 旧安田) where the refugees have burnt. (yokohami 2-3, and around. metro station ryogoku) - This place was the a place for clothes storage for army. The place were disaffected at this time. That's why someone suggested to regroup there. - The current temple in the park 'Tokyo-to Ireido' (to check) has been built as memorial. - There's also a small cavity holding the books with names of the childs which perished from the earthquake. —Preceding unsigned comment added by FCartegnie (talkcontribs) 13:30, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Move of the 93-ton Great Buddha statue in Kamakura[edit]

"The power and intensity was astonishing: it managed to move the 93-ton Great Buddha statue at Kamakura which was over 60 km away from the epicenter, sliding it forward almost two feet"

Considering how easily an earthquake may move a fair part of the Earth's crust by several feet, the Great Buddha weight is relatively insignificant. Unless (and even if) there was a religious intent, I don't think this comment is relevant, and may even be misleading to people not used to earthquakes. Zenkutsu (talk) 09:11, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 03:11, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Dead link 2[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 03:11, 2 June 2011 (UTC)