Damage to masonry buildings caused by the 1995 Hyogo-ken Nanbu (Kobe, Japan) earthquake

The seismic performance of the few masonry structures present in the Kobe area and subjected to the severeHyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake is a minor concern when compared to the overwhelming damage suffered by other types of structures. However, in order to dispel the myth that masonry structures are nonexistent in Japan as well as a few other misconceptions, and for the sake of completeness within the concerted multipaper reporting effort on the Hyogo-ken Nanbu (Kobe) earthquake by the Canadian reconnaissance team which visited the epicentral area of this earthquake, a brief description of the past and present state of masonry buildings, masonry construction in Japan is first presented, followed by a short description of the damage to unreinforced masonry buildings, masonry garden-walls, and nonstructural masonry elements, as observed by the authors during their visits to the Kobe area.