Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tafe Library Studies

Tafe LIS website

[from assignment for creating databases : Indexing component - create own abstract for a journal article ]

In Japanese mythology, there is a giant subterranean catfish known as the 'namazu' and his underground movements cause earthquakes.

Shaking Up Japan : Edo Society and the 1855 Catfish Picture Prints

This authoritative academic essay details the destructive earthquake that devastated Edo (now Tokyo) in November, 1855 and it's aftermath. The people of Edo did not view the Ansei Earthquake as a random event.

Other recent earthquakes and recent political events, especially the visits of Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853-54 were considered an act of 'yonaoshi' or 'world rectification.' The Ansei Earthquake literally shook up a society that had grown complacent and imbalanced. Several weeks after the event, earthquake-related prints were on the market, the majority of which featured images of giant catfish. Catfish prints that include visual elements and text are known as namazu-e, with "e" meaning picture. Extensive and detailed information is provided on other Japanese earthquakes of the period, their social impact and the mythology surrounding the namazu.

Bibliographic end notes:  p. 1072-1078

image : Utagawa. 'namazu'

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