JAPAN: Juggernaut of Air

Japan's chief island of Honshu is shaped like a huge-headed dragon swooping southwestward and snapping at the two smaller islands of Kyushu and Shikoku. One night last week a gentle breeze from the North Pacific was wafting across the two little islands and into the dragon's maw. At 4 o'clock the next morning a juggernaut of air hit, without warning, the frail little houses that crowd the southern tip of Japan.

It was September, the dread typhoon season. The late rice was in flower. The typhoon, striking at 60 m. p. h. and increasing...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!