Image of the Week #33, March 12th, 2012:

From: Namazu the Earthshaker by David Bressan at History of Geology.

Source: 1855, image in public domain.

One year ago this week, Japan was reeling from the effects of the strongest earthquake ever recorded and the devestating tsunami that followed. But earthquakes and tsunamis are woven deep into Japanese lore. Before science was able to explain these disastrous events, mythical explanations prevailed. This image shows the pesky giant catfish, Namazu, who was kept in line most of the time by the god Kashima. But when Kashima was tired or distracted, Namazu would wiggle his tail and rattle the earth. Also relevant and interesting: A short History of Earthquakes in Japan