This site requires that you enable Javascript to function properly Scholten Japanese Art | Woodblock Prints | unknown Great Kanto Earthquake- Dragon Twist Fire Whirl
Scholten Japanese Art Gallery
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unknown, 20th century
Great Kanto Earthquake- Dragon Twist Fire Whirl

lithograph, ca. 1924-25
9 1/2 by 7 1/8 in., 24.2 by 18.1 cm
On September 1, 1923, a massive earthquake originating from Sagami Bay, only 30 miles south of Tokyo, hit the metropolis just before noon. What wasn't destroyed by the quake, was soon engulfed either by a 40-foot high tsunami which followed only minutes later, or by fast-moving fires ignited from kitchen stoves which would have been lit in order to prepare midday meals. Known as the Great Kanto Earthquake, the quake and the aftermath would claim the lives of over 120,000 people, most perishing in the numerous fires that raged through the eastern neighborhoods, including Asakusa, Kanda, Nihonbashi, Kyobashi, Honjo, Fukugawa, Shitaya, and Ginza. Numerous victims fleeing the over 130 major fires were caught up in one of five tatsumaki ('dragon twist'), tornado-like whirls of fire that erupted in Asakusa, Higashi-Ueno and Honjo. One of the most devastating sites was an open area in Honjo where survivors of the initial event had assembled- expecting they would be safe as long as they were away from the rubble and buildings that could burn. Instead, a wall of debris rain down on the survivors, sweeping them up into the tornado of fire and claiming over 30,000 more victims.
price: Sold