Folklore and earthquakes: Native American oral traditions from Cascadia compared with written traditions from Japan

Ruth S. Ludwin, Gregory J. Smits, D. Carver, K. James, C. Jonientz-Trisler, A. D. Mcmillan, R. Losey, R. Dennis, J. Rasmussen, A. De Los Angeles, D. Bruerge, C. P. Thrush, J. Clague, J. Bowechop, J. Wray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines local myth and folklore related to earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis in oral traditions from Cascadia (part of the northern Pacific coast of North America) and in written traditions from Japan, particularly in the Edo (present-day Tokyo) region. Local folklore corresponds closely to geological evidence and geological events in at least some cases, and the symbolic language of myth and folklore can be a useful supplement to conventional geological evidence for constructing an accurate historical record of geological activity. At a deep, archetypical level, Japan, Cascadia, and many of the world's cultures appear to share similar themes in their conception of earthquakes. Although folklore from Cascadia is fragmentary, and the written record short, the evolution of Japanese earthquake folklore has been well documented over a long period of history and illustrates the interaction of folklore with dynamic social conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMyth and Geology
EditorsL. Piccardi, W.B. Masse
Pages67-94
Number of pages28
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 27 2007

Publication series

NameGeological Society Special Publication
Volume273
ISSN (Print)0305-8719

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Geology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Folklore and earthquakes: Native American oral traditions from Cascadia compared with written traditions from Japan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Ludwin, R. S., Smits, G. J., Carver, D., James, K., Jonientz-Trisler, C., Mcmillan, A. D., Losey, R., Dennis, R., Rasmussen, J., De Los Angeles, A., Bruerge, D., Thrush, C. P., Clague, J., Bowechop, J., & Wray, J. (2007). Folklore and earthquakes: Native American oral traditions from Cascadia compared with written traditions from Japan. In L. Piccardi, & W. B. Masse (Eds.), Myth and Geology (pp. 67-94). (Geological Society Special Publication; Vol. 273). https://doi.org/10.1144/GSL.SP.2007.273.01.07