The 1096 Eichō Earthquake and Tsunami


  • Kristina Buhrman Florida State University, USA


The 1096 Nankai Trough tsunamigenic earthquake devastated communities along the Suruga and Ise coasts. The earthquake also caused damage to large and symbolically important buildings in the capital in Kyoto—this damage is better recorded in historical sources than the impact on the vulnerable communities on the coast. The difference in the scale of the damage and what is known about it in both areas are reflections of both the political and physical landscapes. Responses to the disaster, too, were shaped by this distance, with the concerns of the capital taking precedence.

Author Biography

Kristina Buhrman, Florida State University, USA

Dr. Kristina Buhrman teaches Japanese religion at Florida State University, where she specializes in material that crosses the boundaries between religion, science, and superstition. She began studying the history of archives and disasters in 2008, which led to her dissertation work on astronomy and divination. Recently she has begun work on a project on the role of economic governance, divination, and ritual in creating the historical records of disasters. This contribution derives from that research, which has also resulted in a roundtable article in the January 2017 issue of Technology and Culture, entitled “Remembering Future Risk: Considering Technologies of the Archive for Discussion of Tohoku’s Seismological Past after 2011.”

Photo of Ushibushiyama, Numazu City.