01 September 2004

September 1, 1923

In elementary school we learned the date of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 (Taisho 12) by memorizing this memnonic device: "Jishin hito-yure kuni sanzan" (earthquake one big shake, country is in ruins). "Hito" means one in Japanese. "Kuni," the word for country, can be separated into two parts "ku" and "ni", meaning nine and two, respectively. The "san of "sanzan" (in ruins) means three; thus, 1-9-2-3.
The economic repercussions of the disaster led to the
Showa Financial Crisis of 1927.
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Yokohama suffers 88 separate blazes, which rage unabated for two days, leaving 1.9 million survivors homeless.
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