Historical Context

The Great Hanshin Earthquake (also known as the Kobe Earthquake) is a large backdrop to “Honey Pie.” Sala, the young daughter of the main character’s love interest, is traumatized by the images and footage of the earthquake and the main character, Junpei, tells her a story to help her sleep.

The Kobe Earthquake happened early in the morning on January 17, 1995 and had a magnitude of 7.2 and lasted twenty seconds. The earthquake was devastating and had 5,100 fatalities–most of which occurred in Kobe. It was the most damaging earthquake since the 1923 Tokyo earthquake that killed 140,000 people. Structures in the area were severely damaged and caused a large portion of the deaths that occurred in that brief span of time.

The country was reeling from the shock and loss–Kobe is a large city and many who were not fatally injured as a result of the quake were left homeless. Although “Honey Pie” doesn’t directly address the earthquake, the earthquake is a thread throughout the story and signifies loss, the forming and breaking of connections, and the healing that begins after it allows our characters to bridge the isolation and move closer to how they want to live their lives.

Earthquake information and data from http://www.vibrationdata.com/earthquakes/kobe.htm.

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