Culture Magazine

Namazu-e: Earthquake Catfish Prints

By Gerard @presurfer
Namazu-e: Earthquake Catfish Prints
The 1855 Ansei Edo earthquake was one of the major disasters of the late-Edo period. The earthquake occurred at 22:00 local time on 11 November. It had an epicenter close to Edo (now Tokyo), causing considerable damage from the shaking and subsequent fires, with a death toll of about 7,000 people.
Within days, a new type of color woodblock print known as namazu-e (catfish pictures) became popular among the residents of the shaken city. These prints featured depictions of mythical giant catfish who, according to popular legend, caused earthquakes by thrashing about in their underground lairs.The Presurfer

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