Noguchi Setsuko
Princeton university. Japanese Studies Librarian

People in disaster: The Kanto Great Earthquake Collection at Princeton University

On September 1, 2023, an unprecedented earthquake of magnitude 7.9 known as Great Kanto Earthquake hit the Kanto region causing one of the largest damages in Japanese history. The number of killed people exceeded 105,000 including missing people. In addition, nearly 1.5 million people were left homeless. Six neighbouring prefectures were affected, and most of the Tokyo metropolitan area was destroyed by the earthquake and fire. In this presentation, I would like to introduce Princeton University’s collection of posters and notifications created immediately following the earthquake by the Japanese national and regional governments, as well as citizen groups, etc. Most of these ephemera items consist of text only in contrast to post cards and drawings that were created later. The contents are rather raw portraying the desperation and urgency of the situation. They are currently in process of digitization and will be made available as a digital collection.

Princeton University also has monographs and other resources on the Great Kanto Earthquake directly related to the ephemera items. The combined resources will be highly useful for the study of Japanese history and anthropology. We are considering the possibility of using Re:Earth -  a free WebGIS platform to show the places appeared in the posters and notifications on the map with the cooperation of an Anthropologist, Professor Ryo Morimoto of Princeton University.

災害と人々: プリンストン大学所蔵関東大震災コレクション


プリンストン大学では、この他に関東大震災に関する書籍や雑誌等も集められており、上記の印刷物と直接関連のある資料と結びつけることによって、歴史学や人類学の研究に役に立つと考えます。また、当大学人類学の研究者である森本涼教授の協力により、フリーWebGIS Re:Earthのプラットフォームに、ポスターや勧告書に現れる場所を地図にして表わすプロジェクト案もすすんでいます。