Home | Read the book | To download the book and linked files as PDFs


Professor Ikeya was working on an English language children's book when he died suddenly in March 2006. Illustrations had been done and the text almost finalised.

What are our Pets Trying to Tell Us? was an attempt to popularise his scientific work and to make people in general more aware of the behaviour of animals and objects in the world around them before earthquakes. He thought if he could get parents to read the book to their children both adults and children could learn and parents explain and pacify children who might otherwise become alarmed.

The English edition was finalised and has been posted to this website as a tribute to him by friends and family. It is based on a children’s book in Japanese that was published in 2005 (Parade Press, Osaka).*

To read the book click here

In his planned preface he wrote,


"In this children’s picture book about animals and earthquakes a girl and her dog experience strange “precursor phenomena” and her pets tell her why they behave so strangely before earthquakes. I have tried not to make it too frightening for children. The girl is not injured in the story because her father has taken reasonable precautions.

“Precursors of large earthquakes are not unscientific phenomena but protoscientific (as yet unproven) phenomena. They are electromagnetic events that can also be produced by lightning or artificial electromagnetic noise and reproduced in a laboratory. As parents read this picture book with their children I hope everyone will learn more about the pre-earthquake phenomena our ancestors also knew about and not treat them as superstitions or odd beliefs.

“Observe animals and the world around you. If you notice a range of precursors, make sure you’re prepared for an earthquake, just in case. Even minor preparations can reduce injury and damage. If nothing happens, then you can be glad."


* Why Do Animals Behave Unusually Before Earthquakes? ( NHK Pub/Tokyo, 1998)