“The clothing factory I saw the day after the disaster was indeed a sea of corpses. Those who died on the battlefield in a war were probably not as miserable as this ... A man who seemed to be a sumo wrestler died as if he was fighting in the ring, exerting all his strength against an invisible enemy.” —Yumeji Takehisa, “Tokyo Sainan Gashin”
Around a 10-minute walk from Ryogoku Station in Tokyo’s eastern Sumida Ward is Yokoamicho Park. The neighborhood, known for its sumo stables and Kokugikan Arena, was also home to a military clothing depot and was a vacant lot of around 80,000 square meters when the Great Kanto Earthquake struck on Sept. 1, 1923.
It is also where the largest number of victims of the quake and its subsequent fires perished, as depicted above by acclaimed poet and painter Yumeji Takehisa in “Tokyo Sainan Gashin” ("Illustrated Report of the Tokyo Disaster").