Earthquake (jishin)


Earthquake (jishin 地震)

***** Location: Japan, worldwide
***** Season: Non-seasonal Topic
***** Category: Earth


An earthquake is the result from the sudden release of stored energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. At the Earth's surface, earthquakes may manifest themselves by a shaking or displacement of the ground and sometimes cause tsunamis, which may lead to loss of life and destruction of property.

An earthquake is caused by tectonic plates getting stuck and putting a strain on the ground. The strain becomes so great that rocks give way by fault planes breaking.

Wikipedia has more !

We have one kigo to remember a great earthquake.


kigo for early autumn

shinsai kinenbi 震災記念日 (しんさいきねんび)
earthquake memorial day

..... shinsai ki 震災忌(しんさいき)

The 1923 Great Kantō earthquake (関東大震災, Kantō daishinsai) struck the Kantō plain on the Japanese main island of Honshū at 11:58:44 am JST on September 1, 1923. Varied accounts hold that the duration of the earthquake was between 4 and 10 minutes.

The quake had a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale, with its focus deep beneath Izu Ōshima Island in Sagami Bay.

Casualty estimates range from about 100,000 to 142,000 deaths, the latter figure including approximately 40,000 who went missing and were presumed dead. Damages from this natural disaster were the greatest sustained by Prewar Japan.
In 1960, government of Japan declared September 1, the anniversary of the quake, as an annual "Disaster Prevention Day."
According to the Japanese construction company Kajima Kobori Research's report of September 2005, there were 105,000 confirmed deaths in the 1923 quake

At around the time of the earthquake, a strong typhoon struck
the Tokyo Bay area.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

CLICK for more photos

Imaging Disaster:
Tokyo and the Visual Culture of Japan's
Great Earthquake of 1923

by Gennifer Weisenfeld

Focusing on one landmark catastrophic event in the history of an emerging modern nation—the Great Kanto Earthquake that devastated Tokyo and surrounding areas in 1923—this fascinating volume examines the history of the visual production of the disaster. The Kanto earthquake triggered cultural responses that ran the gamut from voyeuristic and macabre thrill to the romantic sublime, media spectacle to sacred space, mournful commemoration to emancipatory euphoria, and national solidarity to racist vigilantism and sociopolitical critique. Looking at photography, cinema, painting, postcards, sketching, urban planning, and even scientific visualizations, Weisenfeld demonstrates how visual culture has powerfully mediated the evolving historical understanding of this major national disaster, ultimately enfolding mourning and memory into modernization.
- quote - amazon com -

呪歌 Juka - A magic song to prevent Earthquakes

After cleansing the area the Onmyoji 陰陽師 court sorcerer or Kitoshi祈祷師 shaman
would sing this to bring good fortune and banish evil.
Picture shows the catfish that lives under the earth whose thrashing tail causes earthquakes.
The song is on the upper left.
Yuru gutomo yomo yanuke jinoka namei shikashi mano Kami no Aran kagiriwa

Worldwide use


Monday, May 12, 2008 at 06:28:01 UTC

Magnitude 7.9
Depth 19 km (11.8 miles)

It was also known as the Wenchuan earthquake (Chinese: 汶川大地震), after the earthquake's epicenter in Wenchuan County in Sichuan province.

The government announced Saturday May 24 that the death toll could rise past 80,000, and the Health Ministry has reported that 300,000 people had been injured. About half of the 59,394 who need hospital treatment had been discharged as of Wednesday, the ministry said, leaving many wards in hard-hit Sichuan province overcrowded. Long convoys of ambulances can be seen on highways leading out of the quake zone.

2008 Sichuan earthquake (Chinese: 四川大地震)
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !




A giant catfish (namazu) lived in mud beneath the earth. The catfish liked to play pranks and could only be restrained by Kashima,a god who protected the Japanese people from earthquakes. So long as Kashima kept a mighty rock with magical powers over the catfish, the earth was still. But when he relaxed his guard, the catfish thrashed about, causing earthquakes.

Earthquake Myths and Folklore / CERI Memphis

... ... ...

Click on the PHOTO to see more !

Noto Peninsula Earthquake March 2007

Niigata Earthquake October 2004

Niigata Earthquake October 2004, First-ever bullet train derailment



Patrick Wafula has been out and about during the earthquake in July 2007!
He tells us

It is quite amazing that while the earthquake was causing nervousnesss and worry among Nairobians, Maasai cattle was obliviously strutting along the city streets, causing traffic jam:

oblivious Maasai cattle
strut along the street--
despite the earthquake

Patrick Wafula

I captured this peaceful scene while driving around in a friend's car.


© allafrica.com/

East Africa:
Earthquake Panic Grips Kenya and Tanzania
18 July 2007

American geological experts have downplayed chances of recent tremors in Kenya and Tanzania leading to a major earthquake.

At the same time, the Kenya Government moved to calm fears that have spread especially in Nairobi that an earthquake was likely. ... the series of quakes that have shook the region since Saturday may not necessarily culminate into a major earthquake disaster.

Things found on the way

A radish has grown up in a crack formed by an earthquake on an island off the coast here, evoking memories of the renowned "gutsy radish" that has become known around the world.

Gutsy Radish (Dokonjo Daikon) and haiku.


entotsu wa entotsu to shite shinsaiki

a chimney
is a chimney -
Earthquake Memorial Day

. Bojo Toshiki 坊城俊樹 .
Great Kanto Earthquake, September 1


Shiva dancing -
an earthquake shakes
the Himalayas

India Saijiki : Ganges

... ... ...

last Fudo ceremony -
cracks of an earthquake
still in the wall

December 28, 2006
Gabi Greve

... ... ...

after the quake -
the spider's web
still perfectly round

Gabi Greve, April 15, 2007 !

Spiders Net after the Niigata Earthquake in July 2007


this great earthquake -
it destroyed our hopes of using
the winter stove for the tea ceremony

Yasuhara Yoo Sensei Niigata 2004


earthquake -
an old woman
first out of the house

earthquake -
even the telephones

low rumbling -
what IS that?
a truck passes

from the 2001 Gujarat earthquake

Johannes Manjrekar, India


spring evening ~
buildings shudder
as a road splits open

Gautam Nadkarni, India


Ladies are blowing
conch shells to appease the gods;
a mild tremor has occured.

An earthquake on the
Floor of the sea made it violent;
Water striking the earth.

Aju Mukhopadhyay, 2007 India


earthquake in
Ramadan ~ "La illaha il Allaha"
in every mouth

silent earth, after
the absurd quake ~ Ramadan
twilight Nimaz

Autumn 2005
Remembering the huge earthquake in Pakistan and Indian Himalaya

Narayanan Raghunathan
Read more here !


The earth speaks softly
To the mountain
Which trembles
And lights the sky.

© Facts about Earthquake Lights


Compiled by Larry Bole

after the quake
the weathervane
pointing to earth

--Michael Dylan Welch ("Frogpond" and "Tremors")

the green jello
gives a wiggle -

-David G. Lanoue from "Haiku Wars" (2006)

the picture on the wall

--w.f. owen
(from a haibun, "Quake," at "Simply Haiku")

earthquake . . .
on the chesstable
the horse hits the king

--Pascu Dumitru, age 13, grade 6
School No. 39, Constanta, Romania. Honorable Mention, Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku Competition, 1993, sponsored by the Haiku Society of America.

earthquake -
the lingering scent
of jimson weed

--Carolyn Thomas
("The Heron's Nest," Volume I, Number 4: December, 1999)

sunrise clouds
a rat burrows
into earthquake rubble

--Lynne Steel
("The Heron's Nest," Volume V, Number 2: February, 2003)

in my morning coffee
earthquake country

--Allen McGill


March 11, 2011 - Tohoku

Tōhoku Chihō Taiheiyō-oki Jishin
[lit. "Tōhoku region Pacific Ocean offshore earthquake")
Sendai, Matsushima, Kesennuma ... immense tsunami damage

earthquake night -
the stars are as silent
as ever

. Gabi Greve, BIG earthquake BLOG  

. Nai no kami 地震神 God of Earthquakes  

. Earthquake in Kumamoto, April 15, 2016 .

Related words

***** Global warming, climate changes and related topics

Kigo for Autumn

Legends and tales about earthquake, to explore
Japanese legends and tales 伝説 民話 昔話 - Introduction .


- - - ##earthquake #jishin -


Gabi Greve said...

distant earthquake
my inner turmoil

Janice, WHCworkshop

Gabi Greve said...

after earthquake
where were windows
the blue sky

Mexico City

Anonymous said...

Dear Kenya haijin, dear all,

For the past week, Nairobi has been experiencing earthquakes every day, apparently originating in Lake Natron across the border in Tanzania, and leading to some volcanic activity there.

It is quite unusual for Kenya to have earthquakes. While I have already been around for two in Belgium, another non earthquake prone country, I have never yet felt one in Kenya. But Karen Blixen did write about one while she lived there, and I have seen her bathtub in her house (now a museum), where she sat while the earth shook, and where she rejoiced, "there is life in this earth after all -- it can

If any haijin in Kenya has written a haiku about the earthquakes of the past week, please let us read them and be with you in spirit at this time.
While no significant damage has been caused, despite the
magnitude of the earthquakes (up to 6.0 on the Richter scale), there
is fear that a more powerful one might follow... Our thoughts are
with you.

earthquake in Kenya --
my heart throbs and shakes
with yours

Wishing you a peaceful week-end!


facebook said...

japan siesmic belt
every now and then
our plates rattle

John Tiong Chunghoo

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

shinsai ki hiruge no kokoro anushinu

earthquake memorial day -
at lunchtime my heart
is so sad

Takahashi Awajijo 高橋淡路女
(1890 - 1955)