The great Kanto earthquake
The great Kanto earthquake struck at noon on 1 September 1923. It was not the earthquake, but the subsequent fire, lasting some 40 hours, that laid waste to the city. A quarter of the quakes 142,000 fatalities occurred in one savage firestorm in a clothing depot.
The quake was later estimated to have had a magnitude between 7.9 and 8.4 on the Richter scale. About 140,000 people fell victim to this earthquake and the fires caused by it. In true Edo style, reconstruction began almost immediately, the spirit in which this was undertaken is perhaps best summed up by author.