On this day: the Great Fire of Meireki

Handscroll depicting scenes from the Great Fire of Meireki. Japan.

The Great Fire of Meireki (also known as the Furisode Fire) began on the 2nd of March, 1657. Between 60% and 70% of Edo (now Tokyo) was destroyed.

Over 100 000 people were killed.

Legend has it that the fire happened because a cursed kimono was accidentally burnt.

The damage was more severe because most buildings in Japan at the time were constructed out of wood and paper.

The fire lasted for three days.