• The 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake: The History and Legacy of the Earthquake That Destroyed Tokyo

  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: William Turbett
  • Length: 1 hr and 46 mins
  • Categories: History, Asia
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Of the numerous disasters, both natural and man-made, to strike Japan during the 20th century, the Great Kantō Earthquake was among the worst, and the most significant. The massive earthquake struck the Japanese capital region, including the cities of Tokyo and Yokohama, shortly before noon on Saturday, September 1, 1923, causing immense physical destruction. Buildings collapsed, crushing their occupants, and a tsunami assaulted miles of coastline, depositing boats well inland and dragging people, structures, and debris out to sea. In both Tokyo and Yokohama, the tremors set off firestorms that raged for days across the dense, wooden cityscapes. In all, the earthquake left perhaps 140,000 dead and more than 2 million homeless, transforming East Asia's most prosperous and modern urban area into a scorched, burned-out wasteland. On the day of the earthquake, according to the Buddhist figure Takashima Beihō, "Nature raged all at once, collapsing the pillars of the sky and snapping the axis of the earth. The big city of Tokyo, the largest in the Orient, at the zenith of its prosperity, burned down and melted away over two days and three nights."

Together, the earthquake and firestorm killed somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000, left more than a million homeless, and destroyed billions of yen worth of property. The best estimates are that up to 75% of all buildings in Tokyo were destroyed or seriously damaged, and while all of Tokyo was afflicted, the low city especially suffered. The five city wards in which damage was greatest (90% or more) were all located in the low city. The proud neighborhoods around Nihonbashi and Kyōbashi were particularly gutted, and many symbols of the Mieji-era shitamachi, such as the original Shinbashi Station, the Mitsukoshi Department Store, the Asakusa Twelve-Stories, were destroyed in the conflagration.

©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors

What listeners say about The 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake: The History and Legacy of the Earthquake That Destroyed Tokyo

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Truly horrific what occurred

I really wanted to Give this sixes if possible. What prevents me is the audio proofing/editing. At least three points where the narrator repeats the same sentence he just said. I went back and re-listened each time to make sure it wasn’t my phone skipping or something. It really distracts me. The story gripping. The writing captures your attention and sucks you in. Sent me googling all sorts of things to look up. Images, monuments, etc. highly highly recommend this story. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

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GreT potential, but not delivered with this book

The narrator is flat and droning. There are so many personal stories that could have been brought to life, but were given in a paragraph or less of facts. It reads like a report for class. I wanted to learn about the earthquake and some facts are shared, but more like a textbook than a story. A lot of Japanese history is touched on, but needed to be enhanced. What was everyday life like in Tokyo before the earthquake? The senseless killing of Koreans would have been more interesting if the history of Japan and Korea had been explained in the beginning. Instead of going off on a tangent about the Jimmy Dolittle raids more coverage should have been given to the reconstruction and why the government did not get behind an orderly plan of construction.This book provides some facts about the earthquake, but in a very boring way.

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A Very Good Overview of This Earthquake

This is a very well written summary of this earthquake. There is a brief self the tectonic plates involved in this matter. There is a good deal of background about the geographic area. Then there is a description of the event itself, along with multiple eye witness accounts. I liked this work very much. I purchased the Kindle and read and listened simultaneously. I am glad that I did so, as the Kindle has photographs and a bibliography. I felt the narration of the audiobook itself was satisfactory. Thank You...