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International Aspects of the History of Earthquake Engineering: Part 1

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Available for free download at https://www.eeri.org/products-publications/free-publications-and-reports/professional-fellowship-reports/

By Robert Reitherman. Part 1 covers the history of earthquake engineering in Japan as well as the historiographical issues (approaches, methods, and biases) involved in writing about the history of the field. Reitherman explores the reasons for Japan’s rapid evolution of engineering and seismological developments in the 1850-1900 period, including not previously published details of “who-did-what” at the influential University of Tokyo. The 1900-1950 period saw Japan rapidly develop seismic structural design concepts and apply them to large-scale construction projects. During the 1950-2000 period, earthquake engineering in Japan benefited from a growing economy, as the country recovered vigorously after World War II. Similar to 100 years earlier, in 2000 Japan was still a place “to feel the pulse of the earthquake engineering field.” Throughout the report, events and developments are related to the broader social, political, and economic context.

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