Geomyths are myths and legends created by pre-modern cultures to explain unexplainable, strange, and mysterious phenomena. This paper will look at the Japanese geomyth of Namazu, a giant catfish who resides underneath Japan and causes earthquakes, and how it relates to the surge of catfish prints which circulated around Edo, Japan following the 1855 Ansei-Edo Earthquake. Through an analysis of this geomyth and the catfish prints it inspired, this paper will demonstrate how geomyths can reveal the history and sentiments of the culture from which they come and how the geomyth of Namazu demonstrates that the Tokugawa era of Japan was not as peaceful as many historians have made it out to be.
"Geomyths and Catfish Prints: An Analysis of the 1855 Ansei Earthquake in Japan,"
Locus: The Seton Hall Journal of Undergraduate Research: Vol. 4, Article 11.
Available at: https://scholarship.shu.edu/locus/vol4/iss1/11