Jordan Sand

Jordan Sand teaches Japanese history at Georgetown University. He is the author of House and Home in Modern Japan and co- editor of a new essay collection, Flammable Cities: Urban Conflagration and the Making of the Modern World. Technical expertise for his piece in this issue was provided by Toshihiro Higuchi.

Diary: In Tokyo

Jordan Sand, 28 April 2011

On 11 November 1855, a massive earthquake and tsunami destroyed most of Japan’s capital city, Edo, the precursor of modern Tokyo. Roughly 7000 people were reported dead or injured, and the numbers rose in the days that followed. There were no newspapers published in the city – the shogun’s government forbade public comment on anything directly concerning the regime –...

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