Disasters and Manga – Gekitō Magnitude 7.7

I have done a few posts recently about manga, starting with one about my favourite manga Kurosagi Shitai Takuhaibin and looking at how manga has handled disasters, specifically the JL123 crash (The JL123 Crash and Manga – Unsolved Crime and The JL123 Crash and Manga – Recreating Iconic Images). But the first manga that I came across related to a disaster was not connected to my research about the JL123 crash in terms of the plane crash itself, but rather about disasters more generally. The manga was Gekitō Magnitude 7.7 (激濤 Magnitude 7.7) (Extreme Shaking Magnitude 7.7).

This two volume manga tells the story of the impact on a community in Akita prefecture of the 26 May 1983 Nihon-kai Chūbu Jishin (日本海中部地震) in which 100 of the 104 victims died due to a tsunami. The manga tells the stories of what happened and how the community recovered.

The reason I came across this manga, which was originally published in 1990, was that it was mentioned in news reports in 2007 that this book was being translated in to Thai to help people there come to terms with the devastation of the tsunami that hit that country following the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and subsequent tsunami (see also “The Impossible” – Brilliant Disaster Movie).

Clearly there is an idea that manga can teach us about significant events and also how to behave and react to such events.

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