National / History | JAPAN TIMES GONE BY

Emperor photographed; gendarmes arrested; teen held after Tokyo shooting spree; work becoming easier

by Edan Corkill

Staff Writer

100 YEARS AGO
Thursday, July 1, 1915

His Imperial Majesty officially photographed

H.I.M. the Emperor was photographed in full Military and Naval uniforms Tuesday morning in a studio specially built for the occasion, close to the riding ground in the Fukiage Gardens of the Imperial Palace. This was for presenting his likeness to the Emperors, Presidents and Kings of our treaty powers, and also for giving them to the schools of all grades in the Empire. Imperial artists Kuroda, Maruki and Ogawa had the honor of photographing his Majesty, and tens of thousands of copies will be prepared before October next.


75 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, July 10, 1940

U.S. Marines arrest Japanese gendarmes

U.S. marines in Shanghai committed outrageous acts against plain clothes Japanese gendarmes escorting General Toshizo Nishio, commander-in-chief of the Japanese expeditionary forces in China, on Sunday while the General was inspecting the Shanghai International Settlement and French Concessions on the occasion of the third anniversary of the China Affair, report special dispatches to the Asahi and Yomiuri.

Japanese gendarmes in plain clothes, numbering 16 were outrageously attacked by American marines with bayoneted guns, and despite nonresistance by the Japanese officers of the law they were unduly taken over to the headquarters of the American marines to be kept in detention, it is reported. Some of the Japanese were reported wounded in the attacks.

The area Nishio was visiting is included in an American policing area and the gendarmes were reportedly detained because they were armed with revolvers.

Japanese military authorities immediately lodged a written protest with Captain Peck of the American marines. According to the American attitude dealing with this affair, the Japanese military authorities are determined to take decisive steps.

The Japanese were detained until 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, when they were only released after strong protests by Japanese military officers.

The U.S. Marines were eventually withdrawn from Shanghai, in November 1941, days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.


50 YEARS AGO
Friday, July 30, 1965

Teen detained after 8-hour shooting spree

An 18-year-old ex-seaman staged a Wild West-style gun battle in the heart of Tokyo Thursday in a desperate effort to avoid arrest for the killing of a police officer earlier in the day.

He kept more than 100 armed policemen at bay for an hour and a half, shooting at random from inside a gun shop near Shibuya Station, at the end of an eight-hour shooting spree that began in Yamato, west of Yokohama, shortly before noon.

Using tear gas, police finally apprehended the youth at the Royal Gun Shop, located between the station and the National Olympic Swimming Stadium at 7:20 p.m.

Twelve persons were wounded by the youth before he was taken into custody.

The youth, identified by police only by age and occupation, held three persons hostage in the shop. He used rifles taken from the shop to fire at the police. Four police officers and six spectators were wounded by stray bullets during the battle.

Finally, at 6:50 p.m., police started firing tear gas into the gun shop. They eventually overpowered him at 7:20 p.m.

Eight hours earlier, the youth had shot and killed a police officer, Yasuo Tadokoro, 20, with a rifle near a housing complex in Yamato. Tadokoro had been sent to the area after an emergency call to his police box that a young man carrying a rifle was loitering in the area.

After his arrest, the youth told police he had been shooting birds in a wooded area when the police officer came up and began questioning him.

When the officer appeared to reach for his pistol, the boy shot him. The youth then changed into the police officer’s uniform and took his pistol. He then stopped a passing motorist and had the driver take him to a nearby town.

The youth reportedly changed cars twice before being spotted at Koganei Park, west of Tokyo, where he managed to evade capture by some 300 police officers. He then appeared in Shibuya at around 5:40 p.m., where after running out of ammunition, he entered the gun shop.

The tall and stoutly built youth is the son of a carpenter. He lives a few kilometers from Shibuya.


25 YEARS AGO
Monday, July 2, 1990

Jobs becoming easier, less interesting

Technological developments have improved labor conditions but Japanese workers find their jobs less interesting, according to a survey released Sunday by the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Survey Regarding Scientific Technology and Society, which polled 3,000 Japanese men and women over the age of 18, also shows that many Japanese believe the nation lacks the training environment needed to produce scientists with “individualistic and creative” character.

The surveyors asked respondents how their jobs have changed, either through the use of robots or other labor-saving technology.

When asked if working conditions have improved, 47.6 percent responded positively, up 7.7 percent from the same survey in 1987, while 13.6 percent said conditions have worsened.

The percentage of workers who find their work interesting decreased by 4.7 percentage points to 41.9 percent.

Also, 58.1 percent said that the training environment for Japanese scientists is unable to produce individualistic and creative scientists, while 53.9 percent said it is difficult for Japan to acquire its own awareness of scientific technology.

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 Sydney Dorner. The Japan Times’ entire archive is now available to purchase in digital format. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de