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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Thursday, January 06, 2022


The First Tsunami

The First Tsunami

There are have been large waves created by earthquakes for as long as there have been seas and earthquakes but the first time that the word "tsunami," using the characters for harbor and wave was quite recently, sometime in the early Showa period (1930-1940) it seems.

Iwase (2020, p.2 ) says it was in 1940, when it was used to describe the effects of waves on Hawaiian islands. But Aoyama (2012, p.20) claims that it was a new word in 1933 citing Yoshimura. Yoshimura points out that "tsunami" was not used to describe the tsunami in Meiji 29 (1896), in which 21915 people died, with 44 missing, when “海嘯” kaishou or “sea spew/whistle” was used as in the title of the wood-block print by Oguni (1896) above. Kaishou was used to describe any large wave that makes a noise and was subsequently, I presume, used to refer to “tidal (as opposed to earthquake caused) tsunami.”

Were there tsunami before there was the word "tsunami"?


Aoyama, 青山咸康. (2012). 1.4 東日本大震災と津波 (未来へつなぐ地域環境づくり, 平成 23 年度石川県立大学公開講座). 石川県立大学年報: 生産・環境・食品: バイオテクノロジーを基礎として, 18-22.2011, www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/aripu/2011/0/2011_KJ00007993... Iwase 岩瀬彩香. (2020). 大型浮体式津波シェルターにおける重心位置と耐津波特性の関係. core.ac.uk/download/pdf/344666115.pdf Oguni 小国政(1896). 明治丙申 三陸大海嘯之實況.東京大学地震研究所図書室特別資料データベースより wwweic.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/dl/meta_pub/G0000002erilib_L000472 Yoshimura Cited in Aoyama 吉村 昭.(2004).関東大震災,文芸春秋文庫,347 ページ 吉村 昭.(2004).三陸海岸大津波,文芸春秋文庫,191 ページ

This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.