On October 28, 1891, at 6 o'clock in the morning, a terrible earthquake struck Japan. Measuring 8.4 on the Richter scale it caused damage over an area of 4200 square miles, with tremors experienced from Tokyo to Osaka and killing in excess of 7,000 people. The outcome was captured in photographs - one of which can be seen above - and the story was subsequently published in 1892 in a book entitled, The Great Earthquake of Japan: 1891 by John Milne and W. K. Burton, with plates by K Ogawa.

This week another quake occurred of even greater proportions, the terrible scenes of which have not waited a year to be seen by the world but have played out as live before our eyes on many television screens. As such the VV hopes that our own response to this tragic event will be just as swift - and that many will think to contribute to the charities who will be involved in helping the victims of Japan.

The Disasters Emergency Committee is currently raising funds to help, and the British Red Cross has also launched a specific appeal.

 Please be wary of any unauthorised charity appeals.


  1. And I thought of San Francisco in 1906. Ocassionally the world bites back.

  2. A beautiful, intelligent, and very unique blog. A truly great read. Highly recommend.

  3. Hermes, yes,indeed. I found this post very difficult and was wary of causing offence to those suffering at the present time. I wanted to link to the charities, but I didn't want it to seem as if I was being macabre in posting too vividly about previous tragedies.

    James, Thank you so much.