1923 Great Kanto Earthquake: Korean Communist Uprisings No.1
The extra dated September 4, 1923 below reports that an infantry platoon has been on the verge of being wiped out by nearly 1,000 lawless Koreans in Yokohama, requiring immediate reinforcement of at least one company. Koreans started fierce exchange of fire with the troops. Amid turmoil after the great quake, they started fires everywhere, burning down houses. They looted shops, houses, etc. They raped, murdered civilians, and poisoned wells. They attacked power plants, and so on and so forth. Many other articles report on the atrocities repeatedly committed by some Koreans soon after the quake. Japanese quake survivors organized themselves to defend their lives and properties against the lawless Koreans.
The Japan-Korea annexation took place in 1910 when Russia had still vied for supremacy in the Far East with the Western powers, all threatening the existence of Korea and then Japan. Among Koreans whose majority favored the annexation, some groups of Koreans indoctrinated by the Russian revolutionists and others had opposed it, waiting for their chance to rise against Japan. The Great Kantō earthquake (関東大震災, Kantō daishinsai?) struck the Kanto plain on the Japanese main island at 11:58:44 a.m. JST on Saturday, September 1, 1923. The Korean communists viewed the great quake as their best opportunity.
212,000 houses were burnt to ashes. There were 105,385 casualties. Although difficult to determine the exact extent of the damages caused by the Korean uprisings, many newspaper articles indicate that their premeditated attacks aimed to overthrow the Japanese Government in cahoots with the communist organizations much influenced by the Russian Revolution.
Aftermath of the Great Quake in Yokohama in 1923