Great fire of Meireki

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Handscroll depicting scenes from the Great Fire of Meireki (kept at the Edo-Tokyo Museum)

The Great Fire of Meireki (明暦の大火, Meireki no taika) was a major event in the history of Tokyo, which was called Edo before 1868.[1]

The fire destroyed more than half of the city of Edo in March 1657.[2]

History[change | change source]

The fire lasted for more than one day:

  • March 2–3, 1657 (Meireki 3, 18th-19th days of the 1st month): The city of Edo was destroyed by the "Great Fire of Meireki".[3]

An estimated 100,000 lives were lost.[2]

Edo was soon re-built.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. In the name "Great Fire of Meireki" the noun "Meireki" refers to the nengō (Japanese era name) after Jōō and before Manji. In other words, the major fire occurred during Meireki, which was a time period which started in April 1655 and ended in July 1658..
  2. 2.0 2.1 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2002). "Meireki no Taika" in Japan encyclopedia, p. 625.
  3. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 413.
  4. Nussbaum, "Kawamura Zuiken" in Japan encyclopedia, p. 498.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Great Fire of Meireki at Wikimedia Commons