Possible Misinterpretation on the 1831 Saga and Aizu Earthquakes
182 , 2017-11 , 日本地震学会
It has long been believed that a M6.1 earthquake occurred on November 14, 1831 in Saga, southwest Japan. The event relies on a single entry from note of “Tenpo Zakki", which is a collection of miscellaneous notes between 1831 and 1844. Here we propose that the location for the earthquake is likely misinterpreted. Reexamination of the note shows that the earthquake occurred on November 13, 1831, as was recognized in 1919. The original location was thought to be in Saga because according to the note the earthquake was reported from “Hizen-no-kami” (lord of Saga). Analyses of the time it took for the news to reach Edo (Tokyo) show that the location of the earthquake is possibly not Saga, but Aizu, in northeast Japan. The note of “Tenpo Zakki” shows that the information of the event reached Edo in 5 days. However, it was impossible to deliver a letter from Saga to Edo in 5 days at that time. No description on the earthquake was found in diaries written around Saga.“Tenpo Zakki”might have mistaken“Higo-no-kami”(lord of Aizu) for “Hizen-no-kami".This result contributes to improvement of the list of historical earthquakes for Japan.