Since March 11, the science of earthquake prediction has come under fire. Detractors say the methodology is too fraught with variables to make a difference. Resources would be better spent on preparedness.

The man credited with making earthquake prediction seem viable was Akitsune Imamura, a University of Tokyo seismologist who, in 1905, predicted the Great Kanto Earthquake, which struck in 1923. He is the subject of this installment of the NHK documentary series, “Rekishi Hiwa Historia” (“History’s Unknown Stories: Historia”; NHK-G, Wed., 10 p.m.).

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