Around noon on September 1, 1923 a massive earthquake, the Great Kanto Earthquake, perhaps the worst natural disaster in Japan, killed over 145,000 people. Fires, including “a 300-foot-tall ‘fire tornado’” and floods, including a 39 foot tsunami, were devastating. Almost all of the buildings in Yokohama were destroyed, three that survived included the Yokohama three towers. The Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall, completed in 1917, is the tall structure in the photos. On September 3, 1923, The New York Times reported that “Yokohama is wiped out; Tokio in Ruins[…] Conflagrations Abate Only When Nothing is Left to Burn[…] People in Appalling Want.”
Vera Talbot’s around-the-world album gets off to a tragic start, the ruins of Yokohama, (visually similar to the ruins of Hiroshima), presumably made on December 16, 1924, a little more than a year after the earthquake.
The second page show some images made in Kyoto:
Yokohama (Great Kanto) earthquake sources and links:
New York Times, March 13, 2011
New York Times, Sept. 3, 1923
New York Times, Sept.4, 1923
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