Anyone who lives in Japan will be used to the regular frisson of fear that earth tremors produce. It was clear within moments, however, that what happened on Friday at 2.46pm was of a different order.

Monocolumn is Monocle's daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

Anyone who lives in Japan will be used to the regular frisson of fear that earth tremors produce. It was clear within moments, however, that what happened on Friday at 2.46pm was of a different order. The Monocle office rocked and swayed; a framed picture fell from the wall and the glass smashed dramatically into hundreds of shards. Outside, the usual crowds walking up and down Omotesando stopped and stood still, as though gathered in a moment of collective silence.

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