[Basic Knowledge] 1.17 / Memorial Day of mega earthquake in 1995 in Japan

写真提供 : 神戸市

Hello ! My name is shinta, Japanese blog writer, born and raised in Japan. I’m introducing real Japanese culture, from Japan to the world.

This page may assist who want

  • to know why 1.17 is very important for Japanese
  • to know what happened 1.17 in 1995
  • to know what was changed after 1.17

I got very large shock in 1.17 in 1995.
I never forget this day.

In this page, I would like to explain about basic information of 1.17 in Japan.

You may got very basic knowledge about 1.17 as Memorial Day in Japan, after reading of this article.

What is 1.17

写真提供 : 神戸市

1.17 is the date of catastrophe in 1995. There was mega earthquake in Kobe city and near area and so many people died with the disaster. To remember victims and remind preparations for disaster, memorial service is held in 17th. January every year. In AM 05:46, people pray silently. Evacuation drills are held in some area where was damaged severely.

Basic knowledge of ’1.17’

  • In 17th. January in 1995, there was mega earthquake
  • Severely damaged in Hyogo prefecture and west Osaka area
  • Memorial services are held every year
  • People pray for victims and remind importance of preparation against disaster especially for earthquake

About earthquake in 1.17

写真提供 : 神戸市

The epicenter of the earthquake was in Hyogo prefecture. The level of shaking in Japanese earthquake scale was 7, as maximum level. More than 100,000 buildings were completely destroyed. Although there was no Tsunami, there were fire with largest scale. Regret, however, more than 6,400 of people died in this earthquake.

About earthquake in 1.17

  • Epicenter of the earthquake was in Hyogo prefecture
  • Level of Shake in the earthquake was 7, as maximum level
  • More than 100,000 of buildings were completely destroyed
  • No Tsunami, however large scale fire was occurred
  • More than 6,400 of people died in the disaster

More information about 1.17

写真提供 : 神戸市

The mega earthquake in 1995 made big impact on Japanese society. A lot of things were reviewed and changed, after the catastrophic disaster. The regulation on building is changed, to build with more strength. The scale to measure level of Shake in earthquake was updated. Specification of portable stove was unified. Hyper rescue team was established in various cities. Then, above all, the awareness of prevention for disaster was getting quite higher than before.

More information about ‘1.17’

  • Change various things after mega earthquake
    • Regulation about strength of building
    • Scale to measure Shake in earthquake
    • Awareness for prevention of earthquake
    • Hyper rescue teams were established in many cities


In the end, I would like to summarize the points of this article as follows


1.17 is one of turning point in Japanese society.

What is 1.17 in Japan

  • In 17th. January in 1995, there was mega earthquake in Hyogo and West Osaka
  • In every year, memorial service is held in 1.17
  • After 1.17, Disaster prevention system is drastically developed in Japan

Thank you very much for your reading and see you again !