Edo: Kaei 7. . Stock ID #158150
Large black and white woodblock kawaraban on two joining sheets showing a map of the coastal areas of the Kantō region [present Tokyo and surrounding prefectures with text. Kawaraban has been folded, some browning particularly along central fold but generally very good. 35.5 x 70.8cm. This kawaraban or commercial news-sheet of the Edo period reports the great earthquake which struck the coastal areas of the Kantō region [present Tokyo and surrounding prefectures] on November 4th 1854 [December 23rd in the western calendar]. This earthquake is the first of the three major earthquakes known as the Ansei Great Earthquakes, which took place in 1854 and 1855. Modern estimates suggest that this terrible earthquake was magnitude 8.4 with the hypocentral region ranging from the Kumano Sea off Wakayama to Suruga Bay off Shizuoka. On this map north is in the lower left corner, where the Edo area lies. As the map shows, the most affected area were the coastal areas of present-day Chiba prefecture to Shizuoka prefecture, including Edo, the capital of the Tokugawa government.
The text details the extensive damage caused by the earthquake. A great number of houses and government offices were destroyed by shocks and ports were hit by a big tsunami, which swallowed hundreds of houses. In many areas the earthquake not only caused damage to buildings, but following the quake itself fires raged burning down many more, including several castles. This earthquake was so big that even the inland province of Shinano [present Nagano prefecture] was deeply affected; the text reports that houses in the castle town of Matsumoto were seriously damaged and seventy percent of them were burned down. The text in the lower left section describes the damage in Edo. In Edo many samurai mansions were destroyed in Marunouchi, inside and outside of the Hibiya Gate, and Sakurada, and in the other areas a great number of townsmen's and samurai houses were badly damaged. A second smaller map inset into this area of text shows Fukagawa, Honjo, and Asakusa which are the areas along the Sumida River. At the time of the earthquake it was low tide, but a large wave came up the river a couple of times and sank many boats. The Russian frigate Diana, commanded by Vice-Admiral Putyutin, which was mooring in Shimoda at the time was damaged by Tsunami. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 158150).