1998 年 51 巻 1 号 p. 1-17
From midnight of January 27, 1700 to noon of the next day, abnormal sea level changes were recorded at several locations on the Pacific coast of Japan. We previously interpreted these as tsunamis from a giant earthquake in the Cascadia subduction zone, off the west coast of North America. In this paper, we report our detailed examinations of the original documents recording the tsunamis, including the reliability of the documents themselves. The tsunamis were described in six independent documents, mostly local government records. No one was injured or killed at any location. In Miyako, 20 houses were burned and 13 houses were destroyed by the tsunami. At Otsuchi, a few houses and rice paddies were damaged. In Tanabe, the government storage house was inundated. The tsunamis were first noticed just before midnight of the 27th at Miyako and Otsuchi, and the next morning at the other localities. We estimated the tsunami heights from descriptions in the documents, after accounting for tide levels and vertical crustal movements of coasts since 1700. The latter correction is difficult and the uncertainty is large. The estimated tsunami heights were: 4m at Kuwagasaki, 3.2m at Tsugaruishi, both in Miyako, 3.3m at Otsuchi, 1m at Nakaminato, 1.0-1.7m at Miho, and 3.3 and 5.4m at two locations in Tanabe. We also examined the weather records for January 26-29 and found no abnormal description, ruling out the possibility of meteorological origin. Lack of regional earthquakes on these days and the tsunami height distribution indicate that the tsunami came across the Pacific Ocean. We then estimate the tsunami magnitude, Mt, for each possible tsunami source around the Pacific. The result shows that the size of earthquake that generated the tsunami was M9 wherever the source was. We examined historical data and paleoseismological results in the possible regions and confirmed that the tsunami source was the Cascadia subduction zone, and that the origin time was around 9PM on January 26, 1700 local time.