The Protestant Missions — March 23, 2011 at 2:45 am

The great October, 1891, earthquake in Gifu and Ogaki-Mino-Owari earthquake!


The Mino-Owari Earthquake was a large earthquake that struck the former provinces of Mino and Owari in the Nōbi Plain area during the Meiji period in Japan. It is also referred to as the Great Nōbi Earthquake. It is the largest known inland earthquake in Japan.

In October, 1891, a terrible earthquake that had its center near the cities of Gifu and Ogaki, resulted in the loss of eight thousand lives, the wounding of fifteen thousand persons, and the complete or partial destruction of more than one hundred thousand houses. The missionaries living in Gifu and Nagoya at once exerted themselves to help the suffering. As soon as the news reached other parts of the country, the Christians organized plans for relief. Such organized effort was new in Japan, and the example was quickly followed by the Buddhists.


Dr. Berry from the Doshisha




Almost the first, if not the very first, medical relief to reach the scene of disaster from outside was a corps of physicians and nurses led by Dr. Berry from the Doshisha Hospital in Kyoto. The foreigners in the open ports contributed about thirty-five thousand yen and sent committees to superintend the use of this fund. The help thus rendered by foreigners and by Christians did much to change the general sentiment of a district that had been strongly prejudiced against both. One person engaged in the work said: “In their gratitude the people worshipped us daily,” and this was doubtless literally true.

The Christian orphanages received many of the children that were left without parents, and new asylums were opened for such persons and for others who had been made destitute. It was the first time that Christian charity had been displayed upon a large scale; and though the Buddhists are also to be commended for their activity, it was generally recognized that the Christians had acted more promptly and that their charity was more wisely administered.

See here for the Wiki link on the 8.0 magnitude earth quake


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