Earthquake!

I am told there was an earthquake ar about 7:30 this morning. I was up, but did not notice.

A few minutes agi – about 7:15 this evening, I am sitting at a table when it began shaking. Lasted maybe 5 seconds, but was clearly a quake. First one I was aware of in Japan.

I don’t know how strong this quake was, but they measure differently here. The measure is how strong the shake is. It is different for different places. The rest of the world measures how much energy was released at the point of the quake – a single number. Of course, the farther from the center, the less you feel it. Japanese are more concerned with the amount of shaking at the point where they are, and use that as their measure.

Only significant quake I experienced was at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska around 1960. I had gone to bed early, but was awakened by what I thought was my roommate shaking my bed. He wasn’t, but being from California he recognized what was happening and told me to put a coat on and get outside fast. I did, but it was all over. There’s a great story about what happened to the radars – I will tell that elsewhere someday.

This spring there was a major quake near Kumamoto on Kyushu Island, that did major damage to the Kumamoto castle (picture). Sharon, daughter Jennifer, and granddaughter Kelsey, and I visited the castle in 2012.

Side note, I had lunch with Atsuko Ebisawa san and Tsuneko Takagi san in downtown Ota today. Soba noodle shop where she had taken Sharon and me years ago. I did not remember the downtown area from before – it is on the other side of the tracks from Sanno Hall. Quite stunning with very modern stores and buildings.