100 YEARS AGO
Sunday, Sept. 13, 1914
Japanese guns now bear on Kiaochou
The officers and men of the warships, engaged in the naval blockade of Tsingtao have suffered great hardships struggling with the heaviest of seas since Sept. 8. To make matters worse, there is no natural shelter for the ships near the zone of the blockade, so that they have to be kept at a fixed point and held steadily to windward to avoid being caught by the strong gales from either side.
The destroyers are engaged in their blockade duty amid intense difficulties, seeming to an untrained eye to be almost at the mercy of the angry waters. It is all the more satisfactory, therefore, to record that not one of the vessels has suffered any damage to speak of. The seas have been swept of mines to within 10,000 meters of Kiaochou (Jiaozhou) Bay, so that the bay is within range of the Japanese guns, the Tokyo Mainichi reports.
The Siege of Tsingtao, in which Japan and Britain attacked the German-leased territory of Kiaochou Bay, marked Japan’s entry into World War I. The Japanese and British forces prevailed on Nov. 7, 1914.
75 YEARS AGO
Sunday, Sept. 3, 1939
German Army enters Poland, controls air
The General Headquarters of the German Army at 5:45 p.m. today announced that German troops from East Prussia had advanced deep into Poland, while the Reich air force is in complete mastery of the air.
The advance of German troops in Silesia, Pomerania and East Prussia is proceeding according to all expectations, the communique said. Troops entering Poland through Silesia are advancing near Czestochowa, approximately 20 miles (32 km) from the border, while German units are nearing Nake, on the Nteze River, 80 miles inside the frontier. Heavy fighting is going on near Graudenz, while forces advancing from East Prussia are fighting far into Polish territory, the communique stated. Meanwhile the German air force has bombed and destroyed numerous airports.
With normal transportation at a standstill and the streets empty of people, complete darkness reigned over Berlin tonight as protection against surprise foreign bombings. Officials of the German Air Raids Precautions, while issuing instructions in the event of bombings, announced that all those who failed to obey instructions would be arrested. The Ministerial Council for Defense tonight issued its first decree prohibiting the population from listening to foreign news broadcasts under penalty of hard labor.
50 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, Sept. 16, 1964
Olympic Village opens ahead of 1964 Games
The main Olympic Village in Yoyogi and four branch villages opened Tuesday morning. About 1,300 Japanese and foreign Olympic officials, athletes and interpreters were present at the official opening of the main village. The Olympic fanfare was sounded under the flags of the 98 nations taking part in the games, which will commence next month.
Speeches were given by Daigoro Yasukawa, secretary-general of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee; Ichiro Kono, state minister in charge of Olympic affairs and others. Seven helicopters loaded with photographers droned overhead during the ceremony, often drowning out the speakers.
Among those attending the ceremony were 51 foreign Olympic delegates, who were the first to enter the 66-hectare main village. Eventually, some 8,000 foreign and Japanese Olympic athletes and officials will live there for the games.
The main village, which had been occupied by the U.S. Forces in Japan as one of their housing areas (Washington Heights) for 17 years until last December, is only a stone’s throw from the Olympic Indoor Stadium and about 2 km from the main stadium in Yoyogi. The village will remain open until Nov. 5.
After the opening ceremony, participants had an “Olympic lunch” at the village’s Fuji Dining Hall to get a taste of what Olympic athletes will eat during the games.
At noon, the Olympic Milk and Ice Cream Bar was formally opened at the village. The first Olympic Milk and Ice Cream Bar was established at Squaw Valley during the 1960 winter Olympic Games.
Simultaneously with the Olympic Village opening, the Metropolitan Police Department opened its special Olympic security headquarters within the MPD office Thursday morning. During the 52-day period the village is open, the MPD will mobilize an average of 5,000 policemen for security and traffic control for the Olympics.
25 YEARS AGO
Friday, Sept. 1, 1989
Agency seeks funds to compile Imperial annals
The Imperial Household Agency will request nearly ¥47 million in fiscal 1990 to start compiling the official biographical record for Emperor Hirohito (known posthumously as Emperor Showa).
Officials said the official biographical record will take 16 years and will be completed in 2005. The record will consist of 18 volumes and will cover all 87 years of his life. Emperor Showa reigned for 62 years until January 1989.
Ten officials of the Compiling Division of the agency’s Archives and Mausolea Department will interview people who were close to Emperor Showa and use various documents in the possession of the agency to write the record. Compilation work for the official record of Emperor Meiji, who reigned 45 years from 1867 to 1912, started in 1915 and ended in 1933. The 13-volume record was published in 1967.
The first eight years in the project will be spent gathering former chamberlains’ diaries, court physicians’ medical records and the records of Emperor Showa’s travels. The next five will be dedicated to writing the record and the following three years to editing and revisions.
After two extensions, the annals were completed this year and are due for disclosure in September.
In this feature, which appears on the first Sunday of each month, we delve into The Japan Times’ 117-year archive to present a selection of stories from the past. Stories may be edited for brevity. The Japan Times’ entire archive is now available to purchase in digital format. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5