Searching for information on disasters in Japan

The following materials are available for investigating past disasters in Japan. Unless otherwise noted, the materials indicated are written in Japanese.
This webpage introduces materials for researching natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, typhoons, etc.), and some materials also include man-made disasters (accidents of various public transportation, pollution, mountain accidents, etc.). This webpage does not cover disaster prevention.
Numbers shown in brackets [ ] indicate the National Diet Library (NDL) call number. For materials which do not have call numbers shown, users need to search their titles via the NDL Online as their call numbers are different depending on the edition and volume.

Table of contents

1. Records of disasters in Japan
1-1. General disaster history in Japan
1-2. Great East Japan Earthquake
2. Materials on earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes in Japan
3. Bibliographies
4. Internet resources
5. Related institutions

1. Records of disasters in Japan

1-1. General disaster history in Japan

  • Showa saigaishi jiten (Nichigai Associates, Inc., 1993.7- 1995.11 [EG77-E134]) (Index: Volume 1, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5)
  • Showa saigaishi nenpyo jiten. 2Link to holding information of the National Diet Library (Nichigai Associates, Inc., 1992.6 [EG77-E134]) (Index)
    This is a 6-volume material, including a general index, which contains approximately 12,000 cases of natural disasters (heavy rains, earthquakes, avalanches, etc.) and man-made disasters (accidents of public transportation, pollution, mountain accidents, etc.) that occurred in Japan from 1927 (Showa 2) to 1988 (Showa 63) in the order of occurrence. It outlines the number of casualties and the scale of damage.
  • Nihon rekishi saigai jitenLink to holding information of the National Diet Library (Yoshikawa Kobunkan Inc. 2012.6 [EG77-J1000]) (Index)
    This is a material that summarizes disasters in Japan from 864 (Jyogan 6) to 2011 (Heisei 23), when the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred.
  • Nihon saigaishi jiten. 1868-2009Link to holding information of the National Diet Library (Nichigai Associates, Inc., 2010.9 [EG77-J340]) (Index)
    This material lists about 4,500 natural and man-made disasters that occurred in Japan from 1868 (Meiji 1) to 2009 (Heisei 21) in order of occurrence. It outlines the number of casualties and the scale of damage.

1-2. Great East Japan Earthquake

2. Materials on earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes in Japan

  • Rika nenpyo (Chronological scientific tables)Link to holding information of the National Diet Library (Desktop version Maruzen Publishing Co., Ltd. Yearly publication [Z43-470]) (Index:90:2017)
    This material summarizes the damage caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, and heavy snow. It also indicates the number of dead/missing, injured people, and completely/partially destroyed houses due to each disaster.
  • Nihon no jishin chizuLink to holding information of the National Diet Library (New definitive edition Tokyo Shoseki Co., Ltd. 2019.4 [ME75-M3]) (Index)
    This material compiles an overview of seismic activity, existing active faults, characteristics of past earthquake damage, major earthquakes which occurred in the past, and information on earthquake prediction, etc. in each region of Japan.
  • Jishin chosaiinkai houkokushu (Earthquake Research Committee, Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion)
    Since August 1995 (Heisei 7), the Earthquake Research Committee, Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion has evaluated and published the current state of seismic activity every month (or on an ad hoc basis if there is significant seismic activity). This material compiles the evaluation result reports every year. The evaluation result reports are released on the website of the Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion Link to an external site(Some English versions availableLink to an external site).
  • Nihon higai jishin soran: 599-2012Link to holding information of the National Diet Library (University of Tokyo Press 2013.9 [ME75-L20]) (Index)
    This material contains the dates of occurrence (Christian era, Japanese calendar, time), epicenters' names, latitude/longitude, scale and depth of focuses, earthquakes' names, their explanations, reference materials, and charts (seismic intensity distribution map, damage status, etc.) for 1,000 damaging earthquakes that occurred in Japan from 599 (Suiko 7) to 2012 (Heisei 24).
  • Nihon higai tsunami soranLink to holding information of the National Diet Library (2nd Edition University of Tokyo Press 1998.2 [ME75-G48]) (Index)
    This material explains tsunamis in two parts, "general" and "particular". For about 200 tsunamis that occurred in and around Japan from 684 (Tenmu 13) to 1996 (Heisei 8), the material contains the dates of occurrence (Christian era, Japanese calendar, time), tsunami sources (epicenters), latitude/longitude, depth, earthquake magnitude, tsunami magnitude, earthquakes' names, explanations, seismic intensity distribution maps, etc.

3. Bibliographies

  • Jiko saigai reference bookLink to holding information of the National Diet Library (Nichigai Associates, Inc., 2015 [E1-L23]) (Index)
    This catalog, published from 1990 (Heisei 2) to 2014 (Heisei 26), introduces reference books on accidents and disasters.
  • Hanshin Awaji daishinsai kanren bunken mokuroku 1995-2000Link to holding information of the National Diet Library (Nichigai Associates, Inc., 2000.10 [E1-G82])
    This material is a list of books and articles of periodicals related to the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, classified by subject, which were released from January 1995 (Heisei 7), when the earthquake occurred, to July 2000 (Heisei 12).

4. Internet resources

  • Digital Typhoon (National Institute of Informatics)Link to an external site (Some English versions available)Link to an external site
    This database offers more than 230,000 meteorological satellite images related to typhoons and tropical cyclones since 1979 (Showa 54). The Typhoon Damage DatabaseLink to an external site shows the damage of typhoons after 1951 such as the number of dead/missing, injured, and damage to houses in descending order based on the disaster information of the Fire and Disaster Management Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and data such as Rika Nenpyo (chronological scientific table).

5. Related Institutions

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