Hit the streets and party!

Apr 9, 2004

Hit the streets and party!

The International Street Performers Festival was hatched in Papa John. In 1984, Ikuo Mitsuhashi — a mime artist just back in Yokohama from a decade-long French sojourn — dropped by the venerable jazz shot bar and listened to the proprietor describe the Association for ...

Savor a city's soul

Apr 9, 2004

Savor a city's soul

A rusted observation platform on the eastern edge of Nogeyama Hill commands views across central Yokohama — from the Western houses on the Bluff to the Landmark Tower in the Minato Mirai district. At the hill’s foot, behind the up-slope march of buildings, lies ...

New subway signals start of a new era

Feb 13, 2004

New subway signals start of a new era

At 4:57 on the morning of Feb. 1, a navy-blue and yellow train pulled out of Motomachi-Chukagai Station bound for Yokohama Station, connecting with through services from there to Shibuya via the Tokyu Toyoko Line. With that, services on the Minatomirai 21 Line, Japan’s ...

Horror on the high seas

Feb 8, 2004

Horror on the high seas

Russia held out one hope for turning the tide of the war against Japan — that a mighty armada, under Adm. Zinovii Rozhestvensky, would relieve the siege of Port Arthur and wrest command of Far Eastern waters from Adm. Heihachiro Togo’s fleet. The Second ...

Dawn of a tragic era

Feb 8, 2004

Dawn of a tragic era

Across a waterfront park in the Shirahama district of Yokosuka, beyond a bronze statue of Admiral Heihachiro Togo, the 15,000-ton Mikasa, his flagship in the Battle of Tsushima (1905), is anchored in concrete — its chrysanthemum figurehead golden in the winter light, the Rising ...

For the visiting guests of honor

Jul 6, 2003

For the visiting guests of honor

Togo Heihachiro, fleet admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, dealt a huge blow to the Russian armed forces when he sent the czar’s Baltic Fleet to the bottom of the Tsushima Strait in May 1905. It was a stunning victory for Japan in the ...

Shame and the pious pioneer

Jun 1, 2003

Shame and the pious pioneer

Commodore Matthew Perry pried open the door to Japan, and the first American to pass through it was Townsend Harris. Perry’s 1854 treaty with the Japanese government opened Shimoda, at the tip of the Izu Peninsula, south of Edo (now Tokyo), to American ships ...

GIs occupied 'paradise'

Mar 2, 2003

GIs occupied 'paradise'

Landing craft from U.S. warships arrived in Otaru Bay under a pallid sky in the early morning of Oct. 5, 1945. Reconnaissance aircraft were banking overhead and jeeps, amphibious vehicles and large trucks kicked up clouds of dust below. The occupation of Hokkaido had ...

Where the moon's 'pure light' shines

Nov 3, 2002

Where the moon's 'pure light' shines

Three narrow valleys indent the pine-tufted Honmoku headland. Around 1887, Hara Zenzaburo, Yokohama’s leading silk merchant, built a villa atop the lip of San-no-tani, the third valley from the west. While father drank in the view of Tokyo Bay, the Tanzawa and Hakone ranges, ...

Yokohama: city of wide horizons

Nov 3, 2002

Yokohama: city of wide horizons

Yokohama owes its rise to political compromise and a natural harbor. The Tokugawa shogunate and Commodore Perry, on the occasion of his return in 1854, could not agree on a parley site to discuss the opening of Japan to trade. The shogunate insisted on ...