1923 Great Kantō Earthquake (関東大震災) struck the Kantō plain on Japan’s main island of Honshū on the morning of September 1, 1923. Varied accounts hold that the duration of the earthquake was between 4 and 10 minutes. The Kantō quake killed up to 140,000 people, making it the deadliest earthquake ever to strike Japan., Just 14 years after its founding in 1909, the Japan America Society of Southern California led relief efforts to gather monetary donations, food and clothing.
1959 Typhoon Vera (伊勢湾台風) – After the Nagoya region was devastated by the strongest typhoon to hit Japan in recorded history, the Japan America Society of Southern California cancelled its planned 50th Anniversary Celebration and coordinated efforts with the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California to raise funds and send clothing and blankets. The Red Cross later wrote, “the amount raised by Americans in greater Los Angeles totals $42,588, the largest amount of disaster relief funds contributed by a single geographical section of the U.S. to the Japanese people since the 1923 earthquake.”
1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake (阪神大震災) struck on January 17, 1995 killing nearly 6,500 in the southern part of Hyogo Prefecture. It was Japan’s second worst earthquake in the twentieth century. Within 24 hours the Japan America Society of Southern California established the “Kobe Relief Fund” and worked with Japanese, Japanese American and other non-profit organizations to receive approximately 10,000 individuals contributions totaling $1.7 million. The amount raised was recognized by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama as the largest amount Kobe received from a grassroots relief campaign.