The Sanriku earthquake on March 2, 1933 at 10:30 am LMT was the most powerful quake to hit Japan in over 180 years.  It registered 8.5 on the Richter scale but Japan gets a lot of earthquakes, including one very recently in October 2021, because it is not only in the infamous volcanic Ring of Fire, it literally sits atop it.

The Ring of Fire

While Johnny Cash made music headlines with his “Ring of Fire” in 1963, the volcanic version is far older, and not nearly as melodious but the two do have something in common, an errant eye. Like the song, the real Ring is composed of a bunch of plates that collide with each other, looking to leave their own happy home and move in on another’s territory because the latter either does not have anyone standing guard to stop them, or because nature abhors a vacuum and welcomes the visit. Either way, the new plate is open to poaching. It sounds fantabulous, but in reality that is what plate tectonics is all about — one crowded stressed plate looking for space in another area, because like rats in cage they need to break out and bust a move. Alas like in real life when the the two plates collide, fireworks happen and that is either a volcanic eruption or an earthquake, In truly bad confrontations, both.

The word “Ring” is also a bit of a misnomer as the arc that spans the area from Java, east of Krakatoa, goes up to the Aleutians in Alaska down to Patagonia in Argentina but never fully closes, but the word ring is much more evocative and poetic. The Ring is made of a series of ocean trenches, look above for “trench” tags on the map, above for where those long narrow valley gnash into the heart of the sea floor and create some of the deepest gullies on the earth.

James Cameron, the director Avatar, Titanic and Blue, made history, nearly ten years ago, when he went solo in a tailored made submarine seven miles into the Marianas trench — a lifeless lightless trip with subzero temperatures. In comparison, the much ballyhooed space travelers went a mere 351,000 feet up in space and that with fellow excursionists.

Do earthquakes happen at bad times?

In 1933, while geisha Sada Abe was striking out, the Japanese military eyeing the USA for conquest, the Sanriku quake occurred. Today, October 21, with the Summer Olympics a major loss for hosting Japan, Covid rearing its head via the feared Delta variant, another major quake hits. Does the old saw of what above, so below ring true? It’s hard to say, but the analogies for these set of events is striking, but how true over the course of history is another question.

a Our featured images of the previous quake on Sanriku that was much lower in velocity but had a 30,000 dead body count.  You can read more about that one here on The Japan Times site.

It has two very remarkable things:  the first is that Uranus is in Aries in the 7th House and it is square Pluto in Cancer in the Tenth. The second thing is the Sextile to Venus in Aquarius suggesting that the rain would be “unusual” or different from normal.  The Daily Kos has a good write-up on it disaster, click here to read more.

The setup is a lipped bowl, this time scooping up the first through fourth houses, raining down on personal experiences and creating with the Moon in the Eighth House in Taurus at 19.41 , a fearful & unforgettable experience but also cautioning not to allow one’s fear take hold of one’s good judgement.

E.C. Chambers calls that degree the “Whirligig” and as it is semi-sextile Uranus it would seem that the Moon did a lot that day to pump up the disruptive volume and create a tsunami of extraordinary proportions particularly as the co-ruler of that Scorpion Eighth House was sextile the Moon nestling up to the Mid-heaven at 08.44 Cancer

Saturn at 11.05 is on the Fifth House Cusp of Aquarius showing the despair that the inhabitants felt that their doom was impending and their hopes and dreams gone especially as it is sextile the Sun in Pisces.

Strife was the watchword and Mars conjunct Neptune was showing how the stress of the geological plates (Mars rules metal; Neptune the seas) opposite the Sun took on a life of its own. A newsreel from the time captures this unfortunately very well.


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