On May 15, 1939, readers of The Japan Times were introduced to a new correspondent — although, in literary circles, at least, he needed no introduction. He was Ezra Pound, then a 53-year-old American Modernist poet who could boast accomplishments that included having launched the career of T.S. Eliot.

Just four months before the outbreak of World War II, the first of 12 articles Pound would eventually write for The Japan Times — from his home in Rapallo, Italy — shared the broadsheet with ominous news from Europe (“Polish-Reich situation said worsening”) and gung-ho reports from China (“Naval planes bomb Ningpo and Hengyang”), where Japan was already two years into war.

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