Collection of 169 picture postcards of the Great Kantō Earthquake (関東大震災 Kantō Dai Shinsai). 42 pages of approx 14 x 9cm postcards in postcard holders, 4 to a page, except for the last page with 1 postcard, enclosed in a 3-ring binder.
An amazing collection of black and white, with some sepia and tinted, photographic images of the progress and aftermath of the Great Kantō Earthquake 関東大震災 of Saturday, September 1st 1923, which leveled downtown Tōkyō and Yokohama, killing over 140,000 people. There were many photos taken during and after the catastrophe, later published in newspapers, books and magazines. Many artists produced paintings, prints, scrolls and albums. We have seen many postcards as well through the years, but the depth and breadth of this collection is stunning. Terrifying, uplifting, a combination of the gruesome and the tragic. They also serve to remind us of the indomitable spirit of the Japanese, whose acquaintance with total destruction would soon be deepened with the air raids of 1944-5.
Most of the postcards show at least a bit of wear, obviously gathered over a number of years, but are in good or better condition overall. An extraordinary resource of images, most of which are identified as to location within Tōkyō and are hence very useful for research.