In Namazu-Event Eske Kath highlights the paradox of development being born at the peak of destruction as well as the ruin inherently residing at the core of expansive growth. Kath also shows us as being caught within the maelstrom of these paradoxes, at once both the beneficiaries, as well as the unfortunate victims of horrible consequences and events impossible to control.
Kath uses the figure of the Namazu as a recurrent protagonist in his tightly organized but turbulent universe. According to Japanese folk religion, the Namazu is a giant catfish that rests in the mud under Japan and is only kept in check by a large holy stone held into place by a god. Whenever the god has to let go of the stone, the Namazu is free to flick its tail and thus cause an earthquake. After the great earthquake of 1855 struck the Tokyo area (then Eto), a large series of Namazu-e (images and woodcuts of the Namazu) were produced. These were seen as both story-telling and informative works. Here Namazu (and by default earthquakes) was not depicted as inherently evil and destructive, but also as a benign and repenting character catalyzing economic growth and development for the survivors in the wake of the earthquake.