Quake records from 1923 indexed for further study

In an effort to step up urban disaster prevention, a Tokyo institute has published a voluminous index of historical articles concerning the Great Kanto Earthquake.The Tokyo Metropolitan Archives and Records Institute in the city’s Minato Ward put together the index of more than 2,000 documents and records. The 1923 quake devastated the capital area and left more than 68,000 dead, 42,000 injured and 39,000 unaccounted for.The index, titled “Great Kanto Earthquake and Information,” includes many documents from the national government, military forces and metropolitan police department, all of which were engaged in relief activities and security operations following the big earthquake. The indexed documents are classified according to content and publishing organization, with code numbers of microfilms attached.The institute compiled the public records into one index as the public turned its attention toward urban disaster prevention after the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, institute staffers said. Records considered extremely valuable by the institute include a research report on temporary housing for quake survivors. Reams of paper include extensive facts on the occupants in temporary accommodation, such as their names, occupations and relatives.Another valuable record is a detailed report by the Kanto Martial Law Headquarters, which dealt with security operations by the army after the quake. The document reported activities of each unit deployed under martial law, with one table showing the army was involved in murdering Koreans by using their weapons amid the chaos following the quake.