Huge Catfish Trigger Earthquakes In Japan (1855)

What causes earthquakes? The Japanese thought it was a giant catfish. One thrashed about and triggered the Great Ansei Earthquake that struck the city of Edo (Tokyo) in November 1855. The event was marked in namazu-e (“catfish pictures”). These portraits of the giant catfish (namazu) show the beast as a hero of the building trade – you can see the workers celebrating and partying with the giant fish – and enemy of fishermen and farmers, who rely on the god Kashima to keep namazu restrained:



Spotters: Disaster Prevention MuseumNational Diet Library