FOUNDED only in 1879, the Seismological Society of Japan is already able to point to a good record of accomplished work. The Society was happy in the time and the place of its birth. No home could be more fitted to nurse the enthusiasm of the seismologist than one whose foundations are shaken, on the average, a little oftener than once a week. One may take a rather half-hearted interest in other. natural phenomena, but, while it lasts, an earthquake certainly commands undivided attention. And the Society came into being just when a few zealous'investigators were striving who should be first to solve the problem of obtaining an accurate record of how the ground moves in an earthquake. Lord Byron has described a thunderstorm in the Alps as the joy of the hills “over a young earthquake's birth;” but the joy of the hills, if more loudly expressed, was nothing like so deep as the joy with which the inventor of a new “earthquake machine” felt the first convulsion that came to test its powers. In these congenial conditions it is not surprising that the Society's early volumes record the history of what is nothing less than a new departure in observational seismology. Of late the Society has suffered by the removal from Japan of some of its more active members; but this latest volume of its Transactions gives satisfactory evidence that, while it has not yet lost all its foreign supporters, some of the Japanese themselves are ready to step forward and continue the work. So long as Prof. Milne remains, the Society will not lack material for publication; the present volume, like many of its. predecessors, is largely the work of his pen.
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EWING, J. Seismology in Japan 1 . Nature 34, 195–196 (1886). https://doi.org/10.1038/034195a0
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