On Saturday, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1 struck the northeastern coast of Japan, causing disruptions and power cuts in Tohoku. It seems an odd coincidence that this happened almost exactly 10 years after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011, but according to experts it is no coincidence at all, but actually an aftershock of that earthquake 10 years ago.
It is perhaps timely then that we are thinking about the events of March 2011 and I would like to remind you of this Thursday’s Third Thursday Lecture at the Sainsbury Institute (18:00 GMT), in which Professor Simon Kaner will reflect on the Institute’s own responses to the disaster and the impact the disaster had on art, archaeology and cultural properties. Be sure to register your place.
I feel fortunate that I have never experienced a sizeable earthquake. In 2011, I was an undergraduate, yet to ever visit Japan, but I distinctly recall being in classes, watching the disaster unfold on television. Earthquakes are not uncommon in Japan. Indeed, 1st September is Disaster Prevention Day, on which schools and businesses undertake disaster drills. 1st September 1923 was the Great Kanto Earthquake, which claimed the lives of almost 130,000 people.
Image: Kyodo News/Japan Times. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/02/14/national/earthquake-fukushima/