• Title: Yokohama Burning: The Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire That Helped Forge the Path to World War II
  • Author: Joshua Hammer
  • ISBN: 9780743264655
  • Page: 180
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Yokohama Burning The Deadly Earthquake and Fire That Helped Forge the Path to World War II Yokohama Burning is the story of the worst natural disaster of the twentieth century the earthquakes fires and tsunamis of September that destroyed Yokohama and most of Tokyo and killed
    Yokohama Burning is the story of the worst natural disaster of the twentieth century the earthquakes, fires, and tsunamis of September 1923 that destroyed Yokohama and most of Tokyo and killed 140,000 people during two days of horror With cinematic vividness and from multiple perspectives, acclaimed Newsweek correspondent Joshua Hammer re creates harrowing scenes of de Yokohama Burning is the story of the worst natural disaster of the twentieth century the earthquakes, fires, and tsunamis of September 1923 that destroyed Yokohama and most of Tokyo and killed 140,000 people during two days of horror With cinematic vividness and from multiple perspectives, acclaimed Newsweek correspondent Joshua Hammer re creates harrowing scenes of death, escape, and rescue He also places the tumultuous events in the context of history and demonstrates how they set Japan on a path to even greater tragedy.At two minutes to noon on Saturday, September 1, 1923, life in the two cities was humming along at its usual pace An international merchant fleet, an early harbinger of globalization, floated in Yokohama harbor and loaded tea and silk on the docks More than three thousand rickshaws worked the streets of the port Diplomats, sailors, spies, traders, and other expatriates lunched at the Grand Hotel on Yokohama s Bund and prowled the dockside quarter known as Bloodtown Eighteen miles north, in Tokyo, the young Prince Regent, Hirohito, was meeting in his palace with his advisers, and the noted American anthropologist Frederick Starr was hard at work in his hotel room on a book about Mount Fuji Then, in a mighty shake of the earth, the world as they knew it ended.When the temblor struck, poorly constructed buildings fell instantly, crushing to death thousands of people or pinning them in the wreckage Minutes later, a great wall of water washed over coastal resort towns, inundating people without warning Chemicals exploded, charcoal braziers overturned, neighborhoods of flimsy wooden houses went up in flames With water mains broken, fire brigades couldonly look on helplessly as the inferno spread.Joshua Hammer searched diaries, letters, and newspaper accounts and conducted interviews with nonagenarian survivors to piece together a minute by minute account of the catastrophe But the author offers than a disaster narrative He details the emerging study of seismology, the nascent wireless communications network that alerted the world, and the massive, American led relief effort that seemed to promise a bright new era in U.S Japanese relations.Hammer shows that the calamity led in fact to a hardening of racist attitudes in both Japan and the United States, and drove Japan, then a fledgling democracy, into the hands of radical militarists with imperial ambitions He argues persuasively that the forces that ripped through the archipelago on September 1, 1923, would reverberate, traumatically, for decades to come Yokohama Burning, a story of national tragedy and individual heroism, combines a dramatic narrative and historical perspective that will linger with the reader for a long time.

    One Reply to “Yokohama Burning: The Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire That Helped Forge the Path to World War II”

    1. Earthquake. Fire. Tsunami. Typhoon. Mudslide. Massacre.On September 1, 1923, the world seemed to have come to an end for Yokohama and Tokyo. Hit by a massive quake, more than 140,000 people perished as firestorms and enormous waves pummeled the land. The tremblor measured 7.9 on the Richter Scale and lasted for almost 10 minutes. As someone who lives in quakeland, that is hard to imagine. Really, it is an eternity. There was no place to run to, away, or from, as the tsunami that followed wiped o [...]

    2. Overall I would say that this book did it's job on showing the catastrophe that occurred on September 1 1923 in Japan. It did not tell the full story by any means, as it focused mainly on Americans and British people living in or visiting Japan at the time and had only a few small accounts from Japanese citizens. However I did find this book at times tough to put down at times. The suspense was built up at the beginning describing everyone going about their business on the morning of the first a [...]

    3. This is a fascinating account of a major earthquake in Japan (I had heard of the 1906 San Francisco quake and fires, but not the one in Japan) and how the response to this disaster shaped the political and military ambitions of Japan. Yokohama, a major trading port and primary residence of many foreigners, was completely destroyed and the nearby capital, Tokyo, was severely damaged; over 120,000 people died and over 60% of the area's population was left homeless.The author also draws parallels b [...]

    4. This is the best book to read for anyone interested in learning more about the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 that left Yokohama a smoking ruin and Tokyo and nearby environs devastated, killing 140,000 people in the great conflagration of earthquake, tsunami, and fire that lasted over two days. It is a remarkable hour by hour reconstruction of events focusing most of all on individuals of the foreign community, but also including the stories of Japanese victims, who suffered the most from the tw [...]

    5. The Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II.That's the subtitle of the book, although, at least in my opinion, the book doesn't really have very much relationship to WWII. It's an excellent study of the terrible earthquake and subsequent fires of 1923, but it doesn't really have a lot that ties it in to WWII.Early on, p. 6, the book talks about previous problems with fires and earthquakes in the area of Yokohama and Tokyo. It then goes into the history of Yokoh [...]

    6. Thought provoking account of events in Yokohama and Tokyo before, during, and after an earthquake that struck Japan in the early 1920s. I enjoyed reading about what life was like in Japan in those days. Telegrams were used to communicate with the outside world and seismology wasn't well understood. Unfortunately, the people of Yokohama had nowhere to run or hide when the earthquake occurred shortly before noon on September 1, 1923. It happened at the worst time because overturned hibachi grills, [...]

    7. Love disaster books! ( I hope to never be involved in one, though) This is a well-written account of one of the worst natural disasters in history. In 1923, Japan was hit by an earthquake, typhoon, fire, and tsunami. Tokyo and Yokohama were left in ruins and 4% of the Japanese population was dead. Hammer gives a very vivid description of the natural disasters and lets us see how the events affected a number of individuals. He explains what causes earthquakes in terms even I can understand. He al [...]

    8. The breathtakingly awful story of the massive earthquake in the 1920s that flattened an enormous section of Japan and then finished it off with horribly destructive fires. Impeccably researched chronicle gives you the before-and-after picture of people and places in the different neighborhoods that were lost forver. Goes into the aftermath of the disaster that had major implications for Japand everyone else.

    9. This was an absolutely awesome book to read. I purchased it after learning that my grandfather was there right after this occured in Japan on September 13, 1923.

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