100 YEARS AGO
Thursday, April 8, 1915
Women’s participation in elections questioned
Women’s participation in election campaigns, which has hitherto been considered a matter of taste, is now reported to become a legal question as well. Those who disfavor the idea of any political action by the gentle sex claim that, while the police regulations, in force, forbid women’s attendance at a political meeting, it is against the spirit of the rule to acquiesce, as was done in the recent general election, by wives, mothers and daughters’ assisting in soliciting votes. If this be allowed, it is further alleged, a race of suffragists and suffragettes would grow in this country, as was done in the West, which must harm the beautiful ideals and characteristics of womanhood in Nippon.
Critics will not be slow, however, to remind the lawmakers, whoever they may be, of the inconsistency of allowing women to listen to parliamentary debates and read political discussions in newspapers, books and magazines, and also of the impossibility of barring political reading at any rate. Madame Haruko Hatoyama, perhaps the real pioneer in this new field of feminine activity in Japan and the mother of a newly returned Seiyukai Representative, defends her position on a somewhat novel ground.
The candidate can not attend to every detail of routine business by himself, says she, such, for instance, as the hiring of a meeting hall or the bookkeeping of campaign expenses. His relations and intimate friends, therefore, must perforce be asked to help. What she and other like-minded women did in the election campaign was, not to express political views themselves or of others, but the work of faithful messengers to convey their loved one’s wishes to the voters. This certainly does not touch the spirit of the existing police regulations, she further observes, and also is outside the question whether it is right or not for women to discuss politics. The work of pure love, done for one’s husband or son, can not possibly be represented as injurious to the traditional ideal of Japanese womanhood.
75 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, April 9, 1940
Sake labels mandatory; price of beer pegged
“The time has come,” the walrus said, “to speak of other things, of ships and snails and sealing wax and”… the price of beer (if you can find any) and the labelling of sake casks and bottles (if you can read the labels).
All of which means the powers that be have erected another milepost in Japan’s drinking history by ordering labels pasted on sake containers and fixing the price of beer. Nothing is reported, however, on what has been done to supply the sake to go in the keg on which to paste a label or to produce the best to go in the bottle which is to sell for 70 sen a quart.
The last report we had from a brave man who began a search for a bottle of beer was not reassuring. However, all we can do is report what the Chugai Shogyo says and what Domei guesses.
The Chugai says, according to our translator: “All casks and bottles containing sake or Japanese wine will have labels pasted on them showing the respective contents of alcohol. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry thought of this novel method for the purpose of eliminating all watery kinds of sake and showing the purity of sake for the satisfaction of all tipplers.”
Beer prices, according to Domei and Chugai, should come down, if the regulations are to be believed.
All you have to do is find the beer.
50 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, April 13, 1965
Tokyo bathhouses call for one-day lockout
An estimated 2,500 public bathhouses in Tokyo will close Wednesday to press their demands for higher public bath charges.
The public bathhouse operators will also hold a rally at Hibiya Park on Wednesday and representatives will call on Gov. Ryotaro Azuma and the Metropolitan Assembly after the rally to present their case. The association decided to close for one day because its request to the Metropolitan Government last November has not been acted upon. The bathhouse operators want to raise the charge for adults by ¥9 to ¥32, for junior high student from ¥15 to ¥25, and for primary school and younger children from ¥8 to ¥15.
25 YEARS AGO
Sunday, April 22, 1990
Automatic ticket gates employed at some exits
East Japan Railway Co. started using automatic ticket gates Saturday at three Yamanote Line exits at Tokyo and Komagome stations.
The system records on tickets the names of passengers’ points of entry and exit, as well as the time and date the ticket was used.
The service has been implemented at Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi north exit and Marunouchi underground south exit, and the east exit of Komagome Station.
JR East officials expressed hope that the new system will prevent passengers from not paying the full cost of fares. The railway company estimates it loses about ¥20 billion a year in lost fares.
At Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi north exit, passengers passed through the gates smoothly during the morning rush hour Saturday. But some passengers were held up because their commuter passes were incompatible with the new system. Some salaried workers complained the new system was “troublesome” because they had to remove their rail passes from the cases each time they passed through the gates.
JR East plans to set up automatic ticket gates at other major stations on the Yamanote Line, such as Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Ueno, by July. Teito Rapid Transport Authority, which runs Tokyo subways, will introduce the system at all its stations within five years.
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. This month’s edition was compiled with the assistance of Ocean Gibson. 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