|Born||14 June, 1870 (16th day of the 5th month of the 3rd year of Meiji)
Kagoshima, Empire of Japan
|Died||1 January, 1948 (aged 77)
Tokyo, Occupied Japan
|Institutions||University of Tokyo|
Akitsune Imamura (今村 明恒? Imamura Akitsune, Kagoshima, 14 June, 1870 – 1 January, 1948) was a Japanese seismologist. Born in a poor family, he nonetheless managed to study at the Imperial University of Tokyo. In 1899, in anticipation of the later theory of plate tectonics, he argued that the tsunami that struck the Sanriku coast of Honshū island in 1896 (known as the Meiji Sanriku tsunami) had been triggered by movements of the earth's crust under the sea. In a paper written in 1905, he predicted that a major earthquake would hit the Kantō region around Tokyo within 50 years and kill over 100,000 people, and advocated that measures be taken. His worries materialized when the Great Kantō earthquake devastated Tokyo in 1923, claiming more than 100,000 victims. In 1939, while working for the Seismological Observatory of Tokyo University, Imamura made a reconstruction of Zhang Heng's seismometer (132 CE), considered to have been the first such device ever made.
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